Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-9-4

Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Happy birthday Mike Piazza – on this date in 1993, Jim Abbott threw the New York Yankees’ first no-hitter in 10 years, leading them to a 4-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Top of the 1st
We were driving back from a wonderful birthday in New York City around 9:30 Saturday night. On the XM we were switching between the Red Sox/Orioles match-up and music when we reach our regular Boston-to-New York dining destination, Rein’s Deli in Vernon, CT.

In the family friendly bar, that is part of the restaurant, the Sox game is on TV and Mrs. Ball checks in to see how badly the Sox are mauling the O’s. She comes back with the news that there is a 13-year old kid pitching for Boston who is throwing a no-hitter.

Well, you know the rest of the story – Clay Buchholz, who turned 23 on Aug. 14 but looks 13, pitched the third no-hitter of the season – following Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox against Texas on April 18 and Justin Verlander of Detroit against Milwaukee on June 12. It was the 18th no-hitter in Red Sox history, and the first since April 27, 2002, by Derek Lowe against Tampa Bay. The score of that game also was 10-0. The Orioles were no-hit for the first time since April 4, 2001, by Hideo Nomo, also of the Red Sox. It was the 14th time the franchise was been no-hit.

In the process, Buchholz (2-0) became the 17th rookie to throw a no-hitter. The last one to do it was Florida’s Anibal Sanchez, a former Red Sox prospect traded for Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell, against Arizona last Sept. 6. The topic in the car, for the home stretch, became rookies who threw a no-hitter in his first or second major league start.

Now, I’m a post-1900 guy. I leave the pre-1900 baseball to my esteemed colleague, John Shiffert ( So, I mentioned that like Buchholz, Wilson Alvarez did it in his second start on Aug. 11, 1991, for the Chicago White Sox at Baltimore. But the story that I like to share (and I know I’ve written about in this space before) is how Bobo Hollomon threw a no-no in his first start on May 6, 1953, for the St. Louis Browns at home against the Philadelphia Athletics.

The Brownies were not a good team (they finished the season 54-100 and drew all of 297,238 fans to St. Louis’ Sportsman Park) and Holloman was not a good pitcher. He was ineffective pitching four times in relief (ten hits, five earned runs in 5