No one was shocked that the Dodgers' Hideo Nomo had thrown a no-hitter, it was where he'd done it that shocked the baseball universe.
Any pitcher who beats the Colorado Rockies at mile-high Coors Field, or even goes the distance, gets a headline. Three years ago today, Nomo threw his no-hitter in the park, famous for its thin-air home runs.
Actually, on this night, weather worked in Nomo's favor. The game was delayed two hours by rain and the humidity was 97% when it started. The heavy air helped Nomo when he faced his first hitter, Eric Young.
Young hit a ball to right field that at first looked as if it might go out. But it didn't even reach the warning track--an easy fly ball. Then Nomo began mowing down the Rockies, inning after inning--a team that had scored a major league-record 632 runs at home.
But on this night, they were clueless.
And it was Nomo, who had a two-game earned-run average of 11.18 and had given up 18 hits in a total of 9 2/3 previous innings at Coors Field.
This time, Colorado hit only seven balls out of the infield and Nomo struck out seven on a 110-pitch night.
When he finished his masterpiece, he looked as stunned as the 48,048 who'd seen it. Catcher Mike Piazza jumped into his arms and afterward said, "Throwing a no-hitter at this place, he should be canonized on the spot."
Nomo became the seventh Dodger to pitch a no-hitter. And he was in a groove. In a five-start stretch, he was 4-0 with a 1.36 ERA. As much as anyone, he was responsible for the Dodgers winning 20 of their previous 25.
Also on this date: In 1941, Stan Musial, 20, made his St. Louis Cardinal debut, going two for four, after being called up from Rochester. In the season's final 12 games, he hit .426. . . . In 1962, the Braves' Warren Spahn beat the Dodgers, 2-1, for his 324th victory, the most by a left-hander. . . . In 1975, Pittsburgh's Rennie Stennett, who'd had seven hits in a nine-inning game the day before, went three for five to tie a major league record with 10 hits in two consecutive games.