What’s more rare than a no-hitter? A game with both teams finishing hitless.
Some of these uncommon games concIuded early because of darkness, while others were won by teams that scored on errors, sacrifices, walks or other methods.
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There has never been a complete-game double no-hitter in the major leagues. It has occurred 10 times in the minors:
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Aug. 7, 1886: Oakland’s George Van Haltren beat San Francisco’s Jim McMullin 4-2 in a California League game that featured a lot of runs when you consider neither team had a hit.
Aug. 10, 1902: Convicts, Lunatics and zeroes. Jim Courtwright and the Nevada Lunatics locked up Eli Cates and the Jefferson City Convicts 1-0 in a hitless Missouri Valley League matchup. “Only two or three balls were hit to the outfield during the game,” according to The Sedalia Democrat.
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Aug. 1, 1903: Greenville’s Forrest Wright bested Baton Rouge’s Dick Harley 1-0 in this Cotton States League double no-hitter. “Wheeler had the satisfaction of scoring the only run of the game,” The Times-Democrat wrote.
May 1, 1907: In Game 2 of a Cotton States League doubleheader, Meridian Ribboners mystery man Henry Schultz and Jackson Senators lefty Harold Christman both pitched five-inning complete-game no-hitters in a 0-0 tie that took 44 minutes to play.
Aug. 5, 1908: It was also the back end of a doubleheader when neither Bloomington’s Ed Higgins nor Springfield’s S. Grandy allowed a hit in Bloomington’s 1-0 Three-I League victory.
Sept. 5, 1910: The Huntington Johnnies and Wabash Rockeries couldn’t get their bats going in Game 2 of a Class D doubleheader in Wabash, Ind. Huntington’s hurler was named Wentz and Wabash’s was named Scott. “Both pitched airtight ball. Hitless and runless they held their opponents,” the Daily News-Democrat recapped. “At the end of the sixth the gathering shadows and low hanging clouds caused the umps to call the game.”
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June 8, 1911: Two aces combined for 30 strikeouts in an 11-inning hitless Class D Mountain States League contest. Charleston’s Dick Niehaus and Huntington’s George Baumgardner both lasted into the 11th inning in Huntington’s 1-0 win.
July 26, 1913: These Blowhards must’ve been lying about their offensive prowess. A pitcher named Manchester threw for the Waycross Blowhards and was countered by Cleo Wilder of the Cordele Babies. Neither team had a hit in the 0-0, five-inning Class D Empire State League game.
Aug. 20, 1952: The first dual no-hitter in 39 years came when Franklin Etchberger of the Bradford Phillies and James Mitchell of the Batavia Clippers dealt in Bradford’s 1-0 win. At least one person thinks there should’ve been a hit that night; the batter who made the final out says he was safe.
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Aug. 23, 1992: The most recent hitless game was seen by only 1,000 spectators because it was played on the Florida coast the day before Hurricane Andrew. Andy Carter and the Clearwater Phillies snuck past Scott Bakkum and the Winter Haven Red Sox 1-0. The game garnered national attention and the Baseball Hall of Fame called the next day to collect and display game balls and equipment.
Some of these dual duels were discovered by Chuck McGill, the no-hitter expert we profiled in 2015.
Tim Hagerty is the broadcaster for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas and is on Twitter at @MinorsTeamNames. He is also the author of “Root for the Home Team: Minor League Baseball’s Most Off-the-Wall Team Names.”