Surprisingly the Phillies have one of the more storied histories of no hitters. One of the most memorable no hitters in team history is Jim Bunning's perfect game on Fathers day, 1964. If you think this is the oldest no hitter in Phils history, you're wrong. That honor belongs to Red Donahue who tossed a no hitter in a 5-0 shutout against Baltimore on July 8, 1898. Donahue would be the first of many Phillies hurlers to not allow a single hit in a contest.
The next no hitter in Phillies history took place just five years after Donahue's feat, when Chick Fraser blanked Chicago on September 18, 1903. It seemed that there would be no stopping the near perfect games being thrown by Philadelphia pitching. Three years after Fraser shutdown Chicago, Johnny Lush blanked the Brooklyn Dodgers on May 1st 1906. Many of you may not remember these historic contests, but that doesn't mean you don't remember your share of no hitters pitched by the Phillies.
Bunning was the next pitcher to throw a no-hitter, and he did so in style. What better way to celebrate father's day with your seven children, than to toss a perfect game against the rival New York Mets. June 21, 1964 is a day that will be remembered forever in the lore of Phillies baseball as the only perfect game in franchise history. Today, Bunning is enjoying his time as a United States Senator, but even election victories pale in comparison to the taste of tossing a perfect game.
|Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kevin Millwood laughs at a question during a news conference after pitching a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants Sunday.|
There must be something about the month of June. Rick Wise tossed the next no hitter in team history nearly seven years to the day following Bunning's afternoon of perfection. The Cincinnati Reds had no chance against Wise when he tossed nine innings of no hit baseball on June 21, 1971. Ironically, Wise had two hits and scored two runs to help his own cause, en route to a 3-0 victory against future Phillie Pete Rose and the Reds. Wise's outing led to a drought of no-hitters in team history as the next Phillies no-hitter wouldn't come for another ninetees years, but it was worth the wait.
Millwood's no hitter is not the first against the San Francisco Giants, or the first in the history of Veterans Stadium. Both of those honors belong to former Phillie Terry Mulholland. On August 15, 1990 Mulholland shutdown the Giants by a score of 6-0, in the first no hitter in the history of Veterans Stadium.
The most recent outing that a Phillies pitcher approached complete perfection before Millwood's performance took place on June 23 1991. Tommy Greene blanked the Montreal Expos in Olympic Stadium, just nine months after Mulholland blanked the Giants. Just as it was for Mulholland, Wise, Bunning, Donahue, Fraser and Lush before him the no hitter by Greene was the highlight of his baseball career.
Now, after reviewing the storied history of the greatness of Phillies pitchers lets all take a moment and savor the performance Millwood put forth on Sunday afternoon against the Giants. After all, no hitters don't happen everyday. Just as Mulholland tossed the first no hitter in Veterans Stadium history, Millwood may have just hurled the final in the hallowed history of the venue. Congratulations are due to Kevin Millwood because on April 27, 2003 he was the king of the mound for at least a day.