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MATCHING GOOSE EGGS

The Fred Toney-Hippo Vaughn double no-hitter of May 2, 1917, is a unique event in baseball history and is justly celebrated even today. However, there has been no research on double shutouts, games in which two opposing pitchers allow no runs for nine innings and beyond. Here is a list of the longest-lasting scoreless matchups by two pitchers. In this age when starting pitchers are relieved early and often, we will not see games like this again.

20 SCORELESS INNINGS

Leon Cadore and Joe Oeschger

Brooklyn at Boston, May 1, 1920

This game does not qualify as a double shutout, but...

The Robins scored a run in the 5th, the Braves tied it in the sixth, and for the next 20 innings Cadore battled Oeschger to a standstill. Called on account of darkness after 26 innings with the score tied 1-1, this game remains the longest by innings ever played in the major leagues.

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17 SCORELESS INNINGS

Stump Weidman and John Montgomery Ward

Detroit at Providence, August 17, 1882

Right fielder Old Hoss Radbourn, one of three future Hall of Famers in the Providence lineup, clouted his only home run of the year in the 18th to win the game. Contemporary accounts praised the splendid fielding of both teams in this pre-glove era contest.

Lefty Williams and Walter Johnson

Chicago at Washington, May 15, 1918

After Johnson held the White Sox scoreless in the 18th, Eddie Ainsmith, Johnson's catcher, singled with 1 out. Johnson, batting for himself, singled Ainsmith to 3rd, from where he scored the winning run on Williams' wild pitch. The 25-year-old Williams, on his way to becoming one of the American League's top pitchers, was banned from baseball after the 1920 season for conspiring to fix the 1919 World Series.

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16 SCORELESS INNINGS

Bill Dineen and Tom Hughes

Boston at Chicago, September 17, 1901

After Hughes held Boston scoreless in the top of the 17th, the Cubs beat Dineen when veteran second baseman Cupid Childs, playing in one of his last major league games, singled home Charlie Dexter with one out.

Jim Pastorius and Irv Young

Brooklyn at Pittsburgh, August 22, 1908

After Young held the Dodgers scoreless in the top of the 17th, he scored the winning run from third on Danny Moeller's bases-loaded, two-out infield roller. Young was aided by veteran center fielder Roy Thomas’ spectacular defensive play. Pittsburgh native Pastorius never pitched effectively after this game.

Rube Benton and Earl Hamilton

New York at Pittsburgh, July 16, 1920

Benton knocked in the game's first run in the top of the 17th, and Hamilton was finally relieved after the Giants had tallied 6 times on their way to a 7-0 victory. Manager John McGraw, in the apparent belief that he could not have too much of a good thing, had Benton pitch the bottom of the 17th.

Tex Carleton and Carl Hubbell

St Louis at New York, July 2, 1933

Carleton, pitching on two days rest, departed for a pinch hitter in the top of the 17th, but the Cardinals did not score. The Giants pushed across a run off Jesse Haines in the bottom of the 18th to win it. This was the first game of a doubleheader, and the pennant-bound Giants took a 1-0 decision in the second contest as well, in a mere 9 innings.

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15 SCORELESS INNINGS

Erskine Mayer and Art Nehf

Pittsburgh at Boston, August 1, 1918

Wilbur Cooper relieved Mayer with one out in the 16th, prevented the Braves from scoring, and scored the winning run himself in the top of the 21st. Nehf went the route for the Braves.

Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal

Milwaukee at San Francisco, July 2, 1963

After Marichal held the Braves scoreless in the 16th, Willie Mays homered to end the game with one out. Spahn was 11-3 and Marichal 12-3 going into this game. The 42-year-old Spahn would finish 23-7 in his last good year. Marichal, 16 years his junior, would compile a 25-8 record in the first of several dominating seasons.

Chris Short and Rob Gardner

Philadelphia at New York, October 2, 1965

The futile Mets, after Jim Bunning shut them out 6-0 in the first game of this doubleheader, were unable to score off Short either but avoided a sweep when the game was called after 18 scoreless innings. Short struck out 18 Mets.

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14 SCORELESS INNINGS

Watty Lee and Jack Powell

Washington at St Louis, August 14, 1903

Rabbit Robinson scored the game's only run on a sacrifice fly, then Lee stopped the Browns in their half of the 15th in the first game of a doubleheader.

Ed Killian and Cy Young

Detroit at Boston, May 11, 1904

After Young held the Tigers scoreless in the top of the 15th, the World Champion Red Sox scored a run on three singles to beat Killian.

Walter Johnson and Ray Collins

Washington at Boston, July 3, 1913

Washington scored a run in the top of the 15th on doubles by Chick Gandil and Howard Shanks. Collins was lifted for pinch hitter Olaf Henriksen in the bottom of the inning, but Johnson held the World Champion Red Sox scoreless.

Ed Appleton and Rube Benton

Brooklyn at Cincinnati, June 11, 1915

After Benton held the Dodgers scoreless in the 15th, the Reds won with one out when manager Buck Herzog singled, stole second, and trotted home on a hit by Tommy Griffith. Rookie Appleton would start only 13 major league games.

Slim Love and Rube Schauer

New York at Philadelphia, May 30, 1917

The hapless Schauer, born Dmitri Ivanovich Dmitrov in Odessa, Russia, was in the final throes of a career in which he won only 4 of 32 major league starts. In the top of the 15th Schauer walked Roger Peckinpaugh and Roxy Walters singled. Ray Caldwell batted for Love and walked, loading the bases. A walk to Lee Magee and an Elmer Miller single plated two runs before Schauer could retire the side. The Yankees' Urban Shocker pitched a scoreless 15th to earn what would today be called a "save". Love, a native of Love, Mississippi, started just 9 games in 1917 and 48 in his major league career.

Walter Johnson and Allan Sothoron

Washington at St Louis, July 25, 1918

Joe Judge doubled in Eddie Foster in the top of the 15th, then "The Big Train" mowed down the Browns in the bottom of the inning.

Lefty Grove and Herb Pennock

Philadelphia at New York, July 4, 1925

Steve O'Neill singled in Bobby Veach with two out in the bottom of the 15th to win the first game of a holiday doubleheader before 50,000 fans. Pennock, the victor in this battle of southpaws, faced just 47 batters.

Ed Rommel and Walter Johnson

Philadelphia at Washington, April 13, 1926

In an epic Opening Day battle, Johnson held the Athletics scoreless in the top of the 15th. In the bottom of the inning, manager Bucky Harris scored the winning run on Joe Harris’ single. This was the first start of Johnson's 20th major league season.

Roy Parmelee and Red Lucas

New York at Cincinnati, July 16, 1933

The last-place Reds finally scored in the bottom of the 15th after leaving the bases loaded in each of the two previous innings. Rollie Hemsley singled in George Grantham for the winning tally. Lucas had lost 7 straight decisions before beating the first-place Giants.

George Turbeville and Willis Hudlin

Philadelphia at Cleveland, August 24, 1935

After the veteran Hudlin held the Athletics scoreless in the 15th, the Indians' Earl Averill homered with Milt Galatzer on base with two out in the bottom of the inning. Rookie Turbeville walked 13 but was aided by 6 double plays. He would start just 15 major league games and win only 1 of them.

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THE 19TH CENTURY’S GREATEST PITCHER’S DUEL

The Detroit-Providence matchup of August 17, 1882, must have been one of the most exciting games ever played, building to almost unbearable suspense. And while Detroit was a mediocre club, Providence was fighting for a pennant! I wish I had seen it.

In 1882 you could watch major league baseball in Providence, and it was GOOD major league baseball. The 1882 Providence Grays were loaded with stars. Although they ended up in second place, they trailed the powerhouse Chicago White Stockings by just 3 games. Providence won 52 games and lost 32. In a modern schedule of 162 games, they'd finish at that pace with 100 wins and 62 losses.

Providence was managed by one of the game's founding fathers, future Hall of Famer Harry Wright. His younger brother George Wright, another Hall of Famer, played shortstop. The pitchers were Old Hoss Radbourn and John Montgomery Ward. Today both of them are in the Hall of Fame. When one pitched, the other man played right field.

39-year-old first baseman Joe Start, nicknamed "Old Reliable", had been playing baseball since before the Civil War. He was one of the country's best known and most popular players. Second baseman Jack Farrell, third baseman Jerry Denny, and center fielder Paul Hines were among the league's best players.

Ward, a tremendously effective pitcher, would become a full-time shortstop in 1884. He switched to second base in 1892, playing regularly in the major leagues through the 1894 season.

Radbourn got his nickname because of his reputation for durability. His dramatic home run in this game was the only one he hit that year. But the loosely-wound ball of 1882 was not often hit for home runs. Most homers were inside-the-park jobs, and even then the entire league hit just 126 of them in 338 games. Detroit's George Wood led the league with 7.

The error totals may look high, but keep in mind that the fielders of 1882 did not wear gloves. This is one reason a 17-inning scoreless tie was so remarkable.

Providence, the home team, batted first. This was customary in the 19th century, when the home team was permitted to choose when it wanted its turn at bat.

Teams needed only 2 pitchers in 1882 because the pitching distance was 50 feet, not the 60 of today, and overhand pitching was not allowed. A pitcher of 1882, with less strain on his arm, could throw more innings than a modern pitcher. Pitchers did not throw off a mound. A base on balls was seven balls, and foul balls did not count as strikes. There was just one umpire. The game was played at a much quicker pace; this 18-inning game was probably completed in about three hours.

In all other respects the rules of the game were the same as they are today: 9 players in a fixed batting order, 4 bases laid out in a diamond with sides 90 feet apart, 3 outs, balls caught on the fly were outs, and so forth.

When in Plovdiv, stay at the Dafi Hotel.

February 2001

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