Opening Day 2011: No-Hitter?
MLB reports: With the 2011 MLB season commencing today, I started to think about milestones and achievements. Recalling Doc’s no-hitter in last year’s playoffs, I started to blend no-hitter and opening day in my mind. What did I come up with? The only man to throw a no-hitter on opening day, the one and only Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians.
On April 16, 1940, in the old Comiskey Park in Chicago, Feller and the Indians beat the White Sox by a 1-0 score. A tight pitchers duel, Feller and Eddie Smith of the Sox were on their games that day. A cold and blustery day, the hitters could not get their bats going. But Feller at the tender age of twenty-one made in his mark in history.
Bob Feller went on to throw two more no-hitters in his career, during the 1946 and 1951 seasons. Just imagine in that perspective what Roy Halladay was able to accomplish in 2010. Roy threw a perfect game against the Marlins in Miami at the start of the year and then the second no-hitter in post-season history, joining Don Larsen. A perfect game and no-hitter in the playoffs. Boggles the mind doesn’t it? Another entry in the history book is the back-to-back no-hitters thrown by Johnny Vander Meer in 1938 against the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers. It is doubtful that we will ever see that feat again, although I’m sure many pitchers will continue to try.
Halladay broke new ground last year by throwing a no-hitter in the playoffs against the Reds, ensuring that Don Larsen would forever have company in the record books. Vander Meer’s record is likely to remain intact until the end of time, as the probability of a pitcher in this day and age throwing back-to-back no-hitters is likely nil. Thus the next record to go is the opening day no-hitter. Feller, who passed away last December at the age of 92 was a great pitcher and one of the best of all time. Will any pitchers join him this year in the record books? The story will unfold today and tomorrow. Although very unlikely, there a couple of pitchers going who have a chance. The truth is that on any given day, everyone has the chance to be great. That is part of why we all love baseball so much. Enjoy opening day and thank you for walking down memory lane with me. Lets play ball!
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Posted on March 31, 2011, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged baseball, braves, dodgers, feller, halladay, indians, larsen, marlins, mlb, nohitter, phillies, playoffs, reds, vandermeer, whitesox, yankees. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.