Saturday, October 20, 2007

Pud Galvin Throws A No-No

In 1876, the Reds played in a week long tournament in Ionia, Michagan. The teams involved were competing for $2,000 in prize money, with $1,000 going to the winner of the tournament.

On the final day of the tournament, the Reds played two games against the Cass Club of Detroit and threw Pud Galvin in both games. They lost the first game and needed a win in the second to tie the Cass Club for the tournament lead. With their tournament fate in the balance, Galvin no-hit the Cass Club and the Reds won the game 2-0.

With two teams tied for the tournament championship, a third game was played that Saturday. This decisive game ended up in "an even score" as darkness forced the end of the game and the tournament. Since Galvin had done his duty for the day, Trick McSorely pitched for the Reds in the last game of the triple-header.

There are a couple of interesting things about Galvin's no-hitter. First, according to Elmer Bates, this was the first no-hitter ever thrown in baseball history. While I can't verify Bates' claim, and doubt the veracity of the claim, Bates had an interest in no-hitters and wrote several long pieces about their history. While not an exact contemporary of these events, Bates was a respected baseball writer with the Cleveland Press and the Sporting Life and his voice does carry some weight.

The second interesting thing about the game was the fact that Silver Flint did not catch Galvin's no-hitter. For some time it was believed that Flint had caught three no-hitters in his career, which would have been the record at the time of his retirement-a record since tied by numerous catchers (including Bill Carrigan, Ray Schalk, Luke Sewell, Roy Campanella, Dell Crandell, Jeff Torborg, Alan Ashby, Charlie Johnson, and others). However, Pat Dolan caught the second game on Saturday when Galvin threw the no-hitter. Therefore, Flint only caught two no-hiters during his career and does not hold, or rather share, the record.


Cliff Blau said...

Joe Borden threw the first professional no-hitter in 1875 (

Jeffrey Kittel said...

True about Borden (to the best of my knowledge). But Galvin's game, as I came to find out later was actually a perfect game and, as of now, the first perfect game that we know of at any level. I thought I had the box score somewhere but couldn't find it. I do have the box score of George Bradley's no-hitter though, if you're interested in it