Reds to honor Vander Meer’s back-to-back no-hitters feat

Published 1:31 am Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Rob Butcher

The Cincinnati Reds


CINCINNATI — 75 years ago this week, Cincinnati Reds’ Hall of Fame pitcher Johnny Vander Meer threw back-to-back no-hitters, a feat that has never been duplicated by any other Major League pitcher.

The first one came in an afternoon game against Boston at Crosley Field on June 11, 1938.

Vander Meer struck out three and walked four in front of a sparse crowd. Because the Crosley scoreboard did not have a column for hits, many in the crowd were not even aware that Vander Meer had thrown a no-hitter.

The second one came five days later on June 15 in Brooklyn when the Reds faced the Dodgers in the first night game at Ebbets Field, the first Major League night game held outside of Cincinnati.

The event was a star-studded affair with luminaries such as track star Jesse Owens and Babe Ruth in attendance. An overflow crowd of 38,748 jammed into the ballpark.

The story of Vander Meer’s remarkable achievement was a national sensation. Seemingly overnight, everyone knew about “Double No-Hit” Johnny Vander Meer.

In honor of the 75th anniversary of Vander Meer’s no-hitters, the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum is offering the following events for fans:

• An exhibit case on the 3rd floor of the Museum features rare Johnny Vander Meer artifacts from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Reds Museum’s collections.

• Fans can meet and take pictures with Reds’ Hall of Famer pitchers Jim Maloney and Tom Browning on Saturday, June 15 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm.

With two no-hitters to his credit, Maloney is the only other pitcher besides Vander Meer to throw more than one no-hitter in a Reds’ uniform. His first was on August 19, 1965 and the second came four seasons later on April 30, 1969.

Known as “Mr. Perfect,” Browning tossed the only perfect game in Reds’ history on Sept. 16, 1988.

Due to time restraints, there will be no autographs.

• All fans attending the Reds vs. Brewers game on Sat. June 15 (4:10pm) will receive a free commemorative print honoring the 75th anniversary of Vander Meer’s back-to-back no-hitters.

• During pregame ceremonies on June 15, Maloney and Browning will be honored, along with Reds’ starting pitcher Homer Bailey, as members of the “Reds no-hitter club.”