Thursday, June 14, 2007


Justin Verlander's no-hitter the other night brings to mind one of the most interesting accomplishments in baseball, one which comes up every time someone hurls a no hitter: Cincinnati Red Johnny Vander Meer's back-to-back no-hitters.

As of 1938, only two players had pitched two or more a career (bonus points: name 'em, answer at the end). On June 11, 1938 Johnny Vander Meer threw #1 against the Boston Bees (who would eventually become the Atlanta Braves). #2 came 4 nights later (try that one today) when Vander Meer no-hit the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first ever night game at Ebbets Field. (For a complete recap of this exciting contest, go here.)

A grand total of 234 no-hitters have been thrown in Major League history giving us, obviously, that many chances for the back-to-back feat to happen (of course, one of those times was a chance for three in a row...) An interesting side note: I decided to look up the grand total of cycles hit in MLB history: 275, and no one has ever hit for the cycle in back-to-back games.

But as for back-to-back no-hitters, even though I'm a die hard Red's fan and have enjoyed Vander Meer's claim to fame, I'll be rooting for Mr. Verlander next time he takes the mound. 131 years after the first no-hitter we'll have yet another chance to witness baseball history.

The two pitchers with two or more no-no's in 1938? Larry Corcoran (the first pitcher with 3) and Christy Mathewson. For a complete list of all MLB no-hitters make contact with this.

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