Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 2nd, 1971

Orioles at Giants

That's the Baltimore Orioles, but the Yomiuri (Tokyo) Giants. As the MLB All-Star team begins its tour across Japan it only seems fitting to do a story based on past times US players have toured the Land of the Rising Sun and today is an especially good one. (As an aside, did anyone notice that Bruce Bochy, is somewhat comically managing this All-Star team in his first act as Giants' manager?)

A while back I did an entry on a no-hitter by an American born player playing for a Japanese team. Today, however, represents the first no-hitter by an American player, playing for an American team, against a Japanese team. The pitcher in question is Pat Dobson. Oddly, Dobson was perhaps the least heralded of Baltimore's collection of four starters who each won twenty games that year; he was the only man never to win twenty before or after and finished with the fewest wins of the quartet. (The other three were Jim Palmer, Dave McNally and Mike Cuellar.)

On this day however, Dobson was the man, pitching the O's to a 2-0 win while not giving up a single hit. It is a fear unlikely to be repeated as these days the All-Star games are truly treated as exhibitions and no pitcher is left in for an entire game, making a no-hitter a rather unlikelihood. It is nice--and in some ways fitting--that Pat Dobson, the least of the Twenty Win Quartet is the man who holds this unique accomplishment.

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