Friday, April 17, 2009

150 Posts Later, I'm Still Missing Dougie

Wow. I completely missed my celebration for my 100th post, so my 150th will have to do.

And the awful thing is that I am unprepared. Like a college student who skipped the entire semester, didn't buy the book, and is showing up to the final. So I guess this isn't going to be a spectacular post, especially considering that there was no game yesterday so I have no praise or negativity to hand out.

I was just asked how many knuckleball pitchers in the history of major league baseball have thrown no hitters. I have no idea. This lead to a little research project. Come on, after Wake's awesome performance Wednesday, aren't you the least bit curious how often it's been done? I know I was, so as my 150th Post-a-palooza, I'm here to provide you with the information you didn't even know you craved.

My qualifications for this list were that the pitchers had to be most-known for the knuckleball (IE - Wakey). The no-hitter had to occur during the years they were known for the knuckler... for example, Ted Lyons threw a no-hitter in 1926. He didn't switch to a knuckleball until 1931, so he doesn't count. I tried to be thorough about this, but it is tricky. Unfortunately, I can only count no-hitters recognized by major league baseball because I couldn't find a more comprehensive list. Oh well. For your enjoyment...

Knuckleball Pitchers and The No-Hitters Who Loved Them

- Sept. 5th, 1908 - Nap Rucker of the Brooklyn Superbas (LA Dodgers) threw a no-hitter against the Boston Doves (Atlanta Braves). Brooklyn won 6-0

-April 14th, 1917 - Eddie Cicotte of the Chicago White Sox threw a no-hitter against the St. Louis Browns (Baltimore Orioles). Chicago won 11-0

-July 17th, 1924 - Jessie Haines of the St. Louis Cardinals threw a no-no against the Boston Braves (Atlanta Braves). St. Louis won 5-0

-April 27th, 1944 - Jim Tobin (who's nickname was Abba Dabba... seriously, that's awesome) of the Boston Braves pitched a no-hitter against the Brooklyn Dodgers (LAD), leading Boston to a 2-0 victory

-September 20th, 1958 - Hoyt Wilhelm of the Baltimore Orioles threw an 8 K no hitter against Don Larsen and the New York Yankees. Baltimore won 1-0.

-April 23rd, 1964 - Ken Johnson of the Houston Astros, in perhaps the most bizarre knuckleball no-hitter, lost to Joe Nuxhall and the Cincinnatti Reds 1-0. The Astros logged 5 hits, but couldn't score a run. Both Johnson and Nuxhall pitched complete games. Pete Rose scored the only run of the game, on a ball hit by Vada Pinson. It seems the error that allowed the run to score was the fault of Nellie Fox.

and finally...
-August 5th, 1973 - Phil Niekro of the Atlanta Braves defeated the San Diego Padres by a score of 9-0. But I find this far less entertaining than Johnson's no-hitter.

So there you have it. In the history of major league baseball, only seven predominantly-knuckleball pitchers have thrown no-hitters. Three have happened in April, two in September, one in July, and one in August. Of all the no hitters by knuckleballers, Boston teams have been involved in three. All three times, it was the franchise that would go on to be the Atlanta Braves. In the franchise history, the Braves have been involved with 4 knuckler no-no's. The Dodgers and Orioles franchises have been involved two times apiece. Only once has the no-hitting knuckler taken a loss for a 9-inning complete game. Pretty fascinating stuff.

Anyway, what good would a 150th Post-tastic post be without mention of two of my favorite Sox alum?

My darling Ducky hit a grand slam for the Blue Jays last night. He hasn't hit a grand slam since 2003, so you know it was kind of a rare sighting. I hope the Blue Jays are enjoying Millar. So many years later, and I still miss him dearly. Why couldn't he have been in Toronto last year when I actually went there?! Though in all fairness, I was in Baltimore, too...

I've seen it on a few blogs already, but I want to pipe in regarding Dougie's new gig as a real estate agent. He's gotten chubby, and greyer, but that doesn't deter me from wanting him to sell me a house. Oh my goodness, I think I'll stop in Michigan on the way home from Chicago just to get his business card and let him show me some real estate...

...why is my brain insisting that should be considered a perverted line? Does it come off as perverted to anyone else? Hmm. Weird. We all know (and by 'we,' I'm more than likely just talking about me) that I love Doug. It's more than likely my fault he got fired... you know, due to my well-documented spring training jinx, wherein whenever I go to spring training, the Red Sox get rid of a player I love (that's why I didn't go this year!). I still get giddy whenever I hear news about Doug. The prospect of letting him sell me a house that I probably cannot afford is mind-murderingly awesome. However, he really should consider putting on a black suit with white pinstripes... and a fedora. Do you know how much money I would pay to see Doug in a gangster-style suit?

It's an absurd amount. Absurd.

And here I am, at the close of my 150th post. I feel so accomplished!

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