MAY 1, 1974...Even before the game starts, Pittsburgh Pirates' pitcher Dock Ellis declares to anybody listening, "I'm going to hit those -------------". Apparently, Ellis is not a fan of the Big Red Machine.
Top of the first with Cincinnati batting in Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. Reds' leadoff man Pete Rose takes one in the ribs, Joe Morgan gets hit in a kidney, and Dan Driessen gets drilled in the back. Bases loaded, no outs. Who would dare hit the beloved Big Doggie, Tony Perez? Look out, TONY! Ellis tries, but Perez ducks and takes first base after four balls. A run in, no outs, bases loaded. Johnny Bench takes his turn as the duck in the shooting gallery. Ellis tries to hit Bench, but Bench moves out of the way against two pitches. With the count at two balls-no strikes, Bucs' manager Danny Murtaugh has seen enough and pulls Ellis from the game.
Ellis later recalled the experience vs. Bench, "I threw at his jaw and he moved. I threw at his head and he moved." Perhaps Ellis forgot what former Dodgers’ pitcher Don Drysdale used to say,..."You hit one of mine, I hit two of yours".
MAY 1, 1920...After playing the previous six years with the Boston Red Sox, Babe Ruth hits his first HR as a New York Yankee. The ball clears the right field roof of the Polo Grounds in New York. (Construction of Yankee Stadium has yet to be completed) Final score, New York 6, Boston 0.
MAY 1, 1965...Mets' player-coach Yogi Berra makes his National League playing debut as a pinch-hitter in Cincinnati's Crosley Field. The nearly 40-year-old Berra faces Reds' pitcher Sammy Ellis and grounds out to first baseman Gordy Coleman.
Berra, the Yankees' manager in 1964, came to the Mets as a coach after being fired for not winning the seventh game of the 1964 World Series against the Cardinals. The Mets activated the three-time American League MVP winner to playing status on April 27th.
MAY 1, 1969...Houston's Don Wilson gets all fired up and throws a no-hitter against Cincinnati, just one night after the Astros were dealt a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts by Reds' pitcher Jim Maloney.
Maloney threw his 3rd career no-hitter last evening; Wilson retaliates and throws his 2nd career no-hitter tonight. Wilson was clobbered for 6 runs in 5 innings in his last start against Cincinnati nine days ago. The Reds went on to win that game 14-0.
In last night's game, Wilson became an unhappy camper when he thought the Reds were running up the score in the 10-0 win over the Astros. Vowing for revenge and wanting peace of mind, Wilson came out firing and finished the game with six walks and fifteen strikeouts en route to the 4-0 Astros' victory.
Back-to-back no-hitters were thrown at San Francisco's Candlestick Park on September 17 & 18, 1968. The Giants' Gaylord Perry beat Bob Gibson of the Cardinals, 1-0. Gibson also pitched brilliantly, fanning 10, and allowing just four hits. Giants' second baseman Ron Hunt hit a first-inning HR for the game's only run! The next day, the Cardinals Ray Washburn threw his own no-hitter to beat Bobby Bolin of the Giants, 2-0. Washburn worked hard for his reward, throwing 138 pitches and issuing 6 walks. Mike Shannon and Curt Flood drove in a run apiece for the Cardinals.
MAY 1, 1970...Reds manager Sparky Anderson pulls a trick out of his hat when he calls for reliever Don Gullett to come into the game from the bullpen. Anderson wants the lefty Gullett to face the left-handed hitting Willie Stargell, one of the most feared hitters in baseball. Wanting to keep Wayne Granger in the game so he can face the next right-handed hitter, Anderson sends Granger to to play left field! (Don't ya think Granger is standing out there thinking,....please, please don't hit it to me) Gullett whiffs Stargell, the game is over, the Reds win 6-4.