May 2 marks the anniversary one of the most remarkable events in Reds history. On May 2, 1917, Chicago’s Wrigley Field hosted the only “double” no-hitter in major league history.

Reds’ ace Fred Toney outdueled Cubs’ ace Hippo Vaughn, 1-0, as both pitchers held the opposition hitless for nine innings. The Reds finally broke through in the top of the tenth scoring on a couple of hits after Vaughn recorded the first out. Toney finished his no-hitter by retiring the Cubs in the bottom of the inning.

The “double no-hitter” game was recorded as a double no-hit game until 1991 when Major League Baseball changed the rules stripping pitched games of no-hit status if batters hit safely in extra innings. (This rule change also stripped former Red Harvey Haddix of his 12 inning perfect game for the Pirates when he lost in the 13th to the Braves, 1-0, in 1959.)

The Reds are credited with 15 no-hit games, the most impressive being Tom Browning’s perfect game in 1988, the last no-hitter hurled by a Reds pitcher. The Reds have been victimized ten times since 1875.

Here’s a history of Reds No-Hit Games

1. August 26, 1884 Dick Burns of the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds in the UA defeated the Kansas City Unions, 3-1. Burns won 25 career games. He was 23-15 in the Union Association and 2-12 for his career in the National League.

2. October 15, 1892 Bumpus Jones beats the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7-1, in first career game. Bumpus only gets 2 career victories. It is the last game in major league history where the pitcher’s line (now the rubber) is as close as 50 feet to homeplate.

3. April 22, 1898 Ted Breitenstein beats the Pirates, 11-0 (his second career no-hitter). Breitenstein wins 160 career games.

4. July 12, 1900 Noodles Hahn beats the Phillies, 4-0. Hahn’s second major league season.

5. May 2, 1917 Fred Toney beats the Cubs, 1-0, in 10 innings. The Cubs’ Hippo Vaughn also holds the Reds hitless through nine innings before the Reds breakthrough. Toney holds the minor league record for the longest hitless game. He pitched 17 no-hit innings for Winchester to beat Lexington in a Class D Blue Grass League Game in 1907.

6. May 11, 1919, Hod Eller beats the Cardinals, 6-0. Eller, ace of 1919 World Series champions, has a career that lasts five seasons.

7. June 11,1938, Johnny Vander Meer no-hits the Boston Braves, 3-0

8. June 15, 1938, Johnny Vander Meer no-hits the Brooklyn Dodgers, 6-0, the second of his consecutive no-hitters. It was the first night game in Ebbets Field history. Following his second no-hitter, Vander Meer politely declined the Reds’ request to change his uniform number to “00.”

9. May 15, 1944, Clyde Shoun no-hits the Boston Braves, 1-0. Shoun, a career reliever, became a starting pitcher during the war years and tossed the no-hitter in his first start of 1944. He pitched in 454 career games over 14 seasons. Shoun outduels Braves pitcher Jim Tobin who had tossed a no-hitter himself three weeks before. Tobin was the Braves only baserunner of the game, reaching base on a walk. The winning run comes on a homer by shortstop Chuck Aleno, a .165 hitter in 1944 who never hits another homer in the majors. The Reds’ Bucky Walters had held the Braves to one hit the day before.

10. June 18, 1947, Ewell Blackwell no-hits the Boston Braves, 6-0. Four days later, Blackwell comes within two outs of duplicating teammate Vander Meer’s double no-hit accomplishment, when he goes 8 1/3 hitless innings before giving up a single to the Dodgers. The Dodgers’ only hit was a ground ball that went through Blackwell’s legs in the ninth inning.

11. August 19, 1965, Jim Maloney no-hits the Chicago Cubs, 1-0, 10 innings. It’s his second 10-inning hitless performance of the season (see below for more info). Maloney walked 10 and struck out 12 in the game.

12. July 29, 1968, George Culver no-hits the Philadelphia Phillies, 6-1. Culver, like Shoun, is a career reliever. Culver hurls a no-hitter in his one season as a starting pitcher.

13. April 30, 1969, Jim Maloney no-hits the Houston Astros, 10-0, his second career no-hitter. Maloney struck out 13. The Astros’ Don Wilson no-hits the Reds the very next day. Two game series, two no-hitters.

14. June 16, 1978, Tom Seaver no-hits the Cardinals, 4-0. Seaver had made it into the ninth three times with the Mets without allowing a hit, but this was his only no-hitter.

15. September 16, 1988, Tom Browning hurls a perfect game vs. the Dodgers, 1-0

Shortened No-Hit Games (not official no-hitters)

1. September 23, 1893 (2nd game, 7 innings), Elton Chamberlain no-hits the Boston Beaneaters, 6-0. The game was called due to darkness.

2. August 24, 1906 (2nd game, 7 innings, Jake Weimer beats the Brooklyn Superbas, 1-0. The game was called due to darkness.

Reds No-Hit Games broken up in extra innings

1. May 26, 1956, 11 innings—Johnny Klippstein (7 innings), Hersh Freeman (1 inning), and Joe Black (3 innings) vs. Milwaukee Braves. Braves won 2-1 in 11 innings; Black surrendered a double with two-out in 10th, and two hits in the 11th. Smoky Burgess was the catcher in the game for the Reds. Burgess has the distinction of having caught two extra inning no hitters in Milwaukee in which his team lost. He was also the catcher in Harvey Haddix’s 13 inning loss for the Pirates to the Braves after pitching 12 perfect innings.

2. June 14, 1965, 11 innings—Jim Maloney pitched 10 no hit innings before allowing home run in the 11th to lose to the Mets, 1-0. He allowed one more hit. Maloney strikes out 18 during the game.

Pitchers who no-hit the Reds:

Tony Mullane (Louisville Eclipse, 1882), Ed Seward (Philadelphia Athletics, 1888), Cy Young (Cleveland Spiders, 1897), Jeff Pfeffer (Boston Doves, 1907), Tex Carleton (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1940), Lon Warneke (St. Louis Cardinals, 1942), Ken Johnson (Houston Colt .45’s, 1964), Don Wilson (Houston Astros, 1969), Ken Holtzman (Chicago Cubs,1971) , and Rick Wise (Philadelphia Phillies, 1971). They were no-hit in two shortened game, Fred Frankhouse (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1937) and Larry McKeon (Indianapolis Hoosiers, 1884). They were no-hit through nine in one extra inning game (Hippo Vaughn) as mentioned above.

Information about the no-hitters and players was found from several sources: “This Day in Baseball” by David Nemec and Scott Flatow, the great “Redleg Journal” by Greg Rhodes and John Snyder, baseball-reference.com, and even wikipedia.org.

5 Responses

  1. mike

    wonderful stuff

    I’ve always felt that Browning’s no hitter was the best Reds no hitter in the last 50-60 years.

    The reason?
    Jim Maloney’s 1969 no-no vs Houston was against one of the biggest slumping teams i can think of. They had lost 8 in a row and were 4-20 at the time.

    Maloney’s 65 no-no was against a terrible Cubs team

    Seaver’s 1978 no-no was against a terrible Cardinal team

    But Browning’s was against the 1st place Dodgers. Sure the Dodgers won with pitching that year but they were still a winning team with an average offense.

    I’d love to know about these
    In 1967 vs Pitt Maloney had a no-no through 6 1/3, doesn’t look like he had thrown that many pitches but was pulled and McCool pitched 2 2/3 of shutout ball allowing 2 hits.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PIT/PIT196708160.shtml

    In 1964 vs LA Maloney had a no-no through 6 throwing 94 pitches. He was pulled and Tsitouris pitched the final 3 allowing 1 hit and no runs
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN196404180.shtml

    and this GREAT one. In 1954
    Hook had a no-no through 5 against the GREAT Braves team (he was pitching against Mathews, Aaron, Covington, Adcock, etc). Hook was pulled after 5 and the bullpen blew the game. Reds lost 4-3
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MLN/MLN195709290.shtml

    and for kicks I looked up crazy Relief pitcher no hitting the team in relief
    the best one I could find was 1957 vs Houston
    Maloney started the game and was pulled (I have no idea why) after 3 1/3 innings.
    Queen came in in relief and pitched 5 2/3 innings of no-hit ball, striking out 8 and walking 2. He got the win

    and on a strange note, how bout this game…arguably the worst Reds shutout
    what does that mean?
    In 1960 Purkey pitched a complete game shutout against a good Braves team
    Sounds good right?
    He allowed 11 hits, walked 1, and only struck out 3
    Aaron went 3 for 4 and the 3 hitters in front of him went 4 for 12 and somehow they didn’t score
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CIN/CIN196008152.shtml

  2. Glenn

    Does any Reds historian type know what cut Hodd Eller’s career so short.

  3. Steve Price

    According to the book “The Cincinnati Reds” by Donald Honig, Eller’s success was derived by using the “shine ball.” Eller’s secret was never formally divulged, but it’s thought he would douse the side of his pants with talcum and he would rub the ball against his pants and cause the ball to take unusual dips as it reached the plate. The shine ball, coupled with an unusual delivery, made Eller difficult to hit.

    Unfortunately for Eller, after 1919 baseball outlawed things such as the shine ball. I don’t know how far it went, but each team was allowed to keep two “spitballers” through 1920, then spitballers were outlawed except for specific veteran pitchers who were “grandfathered” and allowed to keep throwing them. I saw on one list where Ray Fisher, a Reds pitcher, was one who could continue throwing spitballs. I didn’t find Eller’s name anywhere.

    Fisher’s another story…he was banned from baseball after 1920 for jumping his contract and becoming baseball coach at the University of Michigan. The odd part of the story is that the Reds had given him permission for a leave of absence or whatever. He became a famous coach there and had a stadium named for him. I tend to think the spitball issue may have pushed Judge Landis toward not allowing him back (Ray Chapman had been struck and killed in 1920 by what many think was a spitball from Carl Mays.)

  4. Glenn

    Thanks guys, I knew someone would have the answer.

  5. Steve Price

    Mike,

    For the Maloney game, it must have been 1967. Maloney joined the Reds in 1960 and Queen joined the Reds in 1966. I haven’t found the game you mentioned yet, but I did find one that you may find more fascinating from 1967.

    Maloney was pitching a perfect game, retiring all 19 batters he faced against the Pirates, when he stepped in a hole at Forbes Field infield (of all places), hurting his ankle and had to leave the game. Billy McCool came in to finish the shut out, giving up two hits along the way.