An "Over the Hill" Hoyt Wilhelm No-Hit the Arrogant Yankees

Harold FriendChief Writer IJanuary 1, 2010

Rich Fox is an Orioles fan who remembers when the Orioles were the Yankees' patsies, but even in those days, the Orioles had their moments.

Rich takes great joy in recalling how Hoyt Wilhelm no-hit the the "arrogants" from New York on September 20, 1958.

It wasn't until June 11, 2003, that the Yankees again suffered the humiliation of being no-hit.



Don Larsen Returns to Baltimore

It was a drizzly, cloudy day, but my friends and I decided to go to see the Orioles play the Yankees anyway.

We wanted to boo Don Larsen, who was starting for the Yankees, and whom we had traded to the Yankees, along with Bob Turley, in 1954.



A Lot of Scoring?

Hoyt Wilhelm and his 2-10 record started for the Orioles,

There figured to be a lot of scoring, because Larsen was making his first start since the middle of August, when he suffered an inflamed shoulder, and Wilhelm seemed to be near the end of his career.

But one thing baseball fans must learn is that only fools try to predict what will happen.

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Hoyt Wilhelm Pitched Six Hitless Innings

Revenge is sweet.

Larsen pitched great, going six innings and allowing only a Bob Boyd bunt single in the first inning and a pair of walks, but Wilhelm not only matched Larsen—he didn't allow the Yankees a hit over the first six innings.



Ex-Yankee Gus Triandos Hits a Home Run

Little left-hander Bobby Shantz, whom the Yankees obtained from Kansas City (no surprise there), took over the scoreless game in the seventh inning.

Gus Triandos was the first batter Bobby faced. Gus hit Shantz's pitch over the center field fence 415 feet away.

Gus Triandos was one of the players the Yankees sent us in the Larsen-Turley trade.

It would have been better if Gus had hit the home run off Larsen, but this was good enough. Orioles' fans, unlike most Yankees' fans, aren't greedy, but there was more.

Triandos' home run was his 30th of the season, which tied the American League record for home runs by a catcher. Now a Yankee, Yogi Berra, and an Oriole who had been a Yankee were tied.



Wilhelm Stopped the Yankees in the Eighth Inning

Hoyt Wilhelm, who had never started a major league game until he came to the American League in 1958, stayed in the game when the Yankees batted in the eighth inning, trailing by the 1-0 score.

Norm Siebern led off by hitting a sharp ground ball to the right side. Billy Gardner ranged far to his left in order to make a great play that nipped Siebern.

Wilhelm got Elston Howard on a line drive to left and retired Yogi Berra, who pinch-hit for Marvelous Marv Throneberry, on a routine grounder to Gardner. Yogi stayed in the game as the first baseman.

We were really excited. This could be the first no-hitter since the Orioles (St. Louis Browns) had come to Baltimore in 1954.



Paul Richards Manages

In the sixth inning, Birds manager Paul Richards, when he anticipated what might occur, had taken out right fielder Gene Woodling (also part of the Larsen-Turley trade).

Richards moved Willie Tasby from center field to right field and brought in Busby, one of the greatest defensive outfielders to ever play the game, to play center. The move paid dividends.

Ninth Inning

Wilhelm went to the mound for the ninth, nursing the one run lead.

He got Bobby Richardson on a fly ball to Jim Busby in center, bringing up Enos Slaughter, who was pinch hitting for Bobby Shantz.

Enos hit a lined shot to right center field, but the speedy Tasby ran it down. It is doubtful if Gene Woodling, whom he had replaced, could have made the catch.

Now Wilhelm was one out away. The batter was Hank Bauer, who would manage the Orioles when we swept the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series.

Wilhelm delivered the pitch, and all Bauer could do was lift a harmless pop up to second that Billy Gardner caught for the final out.

The Yankees had been no-hit. They deserved it.



A 2-10 Pitcher Stops the Yankees

All the mighty Yankees could manage against a 2-10, over the hill pitcher* was a pair of walks, one to Bobby Richardson in the third, and the other to Jerry Lumpe in the fourth. That was it.

Mickey Mantle, Bill Skowron, Yogi Berra, Norm Siebern, Hank Bauer, Elston Howard, and company, the great Yankees' offense machine, couldn't touch Wilhelm for even one hit.

My friends and I loved it.

*Hoyt Wilhelm pitched until 1972, is considered the greatest of all knuckleball pitchers, and is a Hall of Famer.

References:

By JOHN DREBINGER, & Special to The New York Times .. (1958, September 21). WILHELM'S NO-HITTER TRIPS YANKS FOR ORIOLES, 1-0 :8 BOMBERS FANNED. New York Times (1857-Current file),S1. Retrieved December 31, 2009, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2006). (Document ID: 91408387).

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