No-No Unknowns: Most Unlikely Pitchers to Throw a No-Hitter

Dave WalkerCorrespondent IMarch 2, 2009

This past weekend I was cleaning out my closet and came across some storage bins containing my old baseball cards. Naturally, I had to stop and take a peek to see what I had. There were some gems, and when I mean gems, I don't mean it in a good way.

There were guys I haven't thought of in years, and guys that had careers so short I wondered how they managed to get their mug on a baseball card to begin with.

As I continued to humor myself, I came across a card that had an imprint on the front, "No Hitter Club '91." My reaction, "This guy threw a no hitter? No F---ing way!"

Thus I looked at the list of players who have thrown no-nos since 1980, and have come up with this list of one hit wonders.


5. Bud Smith - St. Louis Cardinals - Sept. 3, 2001

Bud had a very short major league career. His totals consisted of a 7-8 record across a staggering two seasons.

What he most famously forgotten for is a no-hitter he threw against the San Diego Padres.

Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan would be quoted as saying that he hoped someone would have broken up the no hit bid so he could take Smith out due to his high pitch count. Smith is now retired from baseball and possibly working at a BuyMore.


4. Kevin Gross - Los Angeles Dodgers - Aug. 17, 1992

Gross had a little bit better luck in the majors, compiling over 100 wins over a career that stretched more than 14 seasons. When I talk about those baseball cards, his was one that I found and said no way.

I don't remember much about this no-no. All I know is that I would have never thought Kevin Gross, who I remember as a Phillie, would ever throw a no-hitter.


3. Tommy Greene - Philadelphia Phillies - May 23, 1991

Greene had his best season on the overachieving version of the 1993 Phillies going 16-4. On his infamous day in May, he had pinpoint control...striking out 10 and only walking seven!

Seven walks. Come on. I could throw a no-hitter if I walked that many people. Wow! Thus another member of my "who the hell is this guy" club.


2. Kent Mercker - Atlanta Braves - Threw two no-nos

Mercker was the ultimate one-game wonder, not once, but twice. His first was on Sept. 11, 1991 when he went 6 innings then handed the ball over to the bullpen to finish it.

The second occurred on April 8, 1994. Mercker is still around somewhere. He bounces around the spring training circuit every year, until someone eventually signs him.


1. Juan Nieves - Milwaukee Brewers - April 15, 1987

Who the hell is this guy? The only reason I even know of this is that I lives in Wisconsin for three years and saw a replay of it on Brewers classic.

Juan Nieves? Really? This guy pitched a no no. Now, I know what you are asking, where is he now and how did his career end?

Well, he threw out his arm, like all Brewers pitchers do, and is now the bullpen coach for the Chicago White Sox.

I am sure that there are many other "Did You Know" no hitter guys out there, but these are the one hit no hit wonders of my time.

Feel free to comment on any of the good times you had watching these guys pitch, or if you have any other gems that need to be mentioned in this category of no hit no names.

And, to think I didn't even mention Jose Jimenez, who would have been sixth....