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No-Hit Belinsky Shows Wit


To commemorate the 35th anniversary of the first no-hitter by an Angels' pitcher, Anaheim held a ceremony with all five pitchers who accomplished the feat.

Bo Belinsky--who threw the team's first no-hitter, on May 5, 1962, beating Baltimore, 2-0, at Dodger Stadium--was joined by Nolan Ryan, Mike Witt, Clyde Wright and Mark Langston.

Belinsky pretty much stole the show with wiseacre humor. When Langston (who combined with Witt for a no-hitter against Seattle in 1990) said he didn't think he belonged in the group, Belinsky quipped, "Mark, they brought you here because you look like I used to look."

Another Belinsky gem was recalling the final out of his no-hitter, a pop fly caught by third baseman Felix Torres.

"Felix used to wear a batting helmet in the field because he used to have trouble with pop flies. When I saw him go to catch the last out I was thinking 'Please let it be foul.' "

The others had fond memories as well:

--Wright, who beat Oakland, 4-0, on July 3, 1970 said, "I thought I was going to be the first guy to throw a no-hitter without striking anybody out. But Reggie Jackson [who took a called third strike] messed that up."

--Ryan, who threw four of his seven no-hitters as an Angel--two in 1973--said the second one that season against Detroit was memorable, "because I told bullpen coach Tom Morgan if I was ever going to throw another no-hitter it would be that day. Warming up in the bullpen I had [the best] stuff I ever did to start a game."

Ryan, who received a standing ovation from the crowd in pre-game ceremonies, also recalled that with two out in the ninth inning, Tiger Norm Cash brought out a piano leg to use as a bat. "I told [umpire Ron] Luciano, 'Hey, he can't do that.' Cash replied, 'It doesn't matter, I'm not going to hit him anyway.' "

--Witt pitched the only perfect game in club history, shutting out Texas, 1-0, on the final day of the 1984 season.

"That day I was trying to win my 15th game of the season, which I really wanted," Witt said. "But I was really caught up in it by the ninth inning. I knew what was on the line. It was the same thing relieving Mark for his no-hitter. I was very aware of what was at stake, and wanted to make sure I got outs."

All five pitchers received a crystal baseball from team owner Gene Autry.


Eddie Murray has had better days than Sunday, when he learned before the game he was being moved from designated hitter to the bench because of the acquisition of Tony Phillips.

Phillips becomes the leadoff hitter/designated hitter. Murray becomes a pinch hitter and will DH once a week.

"I put myself into this position," Murray said. "If you're not swinging well, you're not swinging well. I've just been struggling."

Murray said he met with Manager Terry Collins and General Manager Bill Bavasi on Sunday morning.

"I'm glad Terry told me straight up what was happening," Murray said. "Even if I was doing what I and they expected . . . who knows if they still make the trade?

"I know Tony, and he's is going to help this team."

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