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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Vander Meer throws consecutive no-hitters
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
June 15, 1938
A crowd of 38,748 comes to Ebbets Field to witness history -- the first major league night game ever played in New York. But much to their joy, they see an even bigger piece of history take place.
Johnny Vander Meer, the Cincinnati Reds' 23-year-old left-hander, no-hits the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the only pitcher to ever throw consecutive no-hitters. Four days ago, he had held the Boston Bees hitless.
In the 6-0 victory over the Dodgers, the hard-throwing Vander Meer strikes out seven and walks eight. Three of the passes come with one out in the ninth, but Vander Meer, with the Brooklyn fans cheering him on, escapes the jam. He gets speedy Ernie Koy to ground to third baseman Lew Riggs, who throws home for the force to preserve the shutout, and retires pesky Leo Durocher on a fly to short center.
"This time I knew I had a no-hitter," says Vander Meer, who is from nearby Midland Park, N.J. "Against the Bees, I didn't know I hadn't given a hit until it was all over. I really didn't begin to think I had a chance to pitch two in a row until the seventh inning, though. Nobody on the bench said a word to me. Didn't want to put a whammy on me, I guess.
"It's pretty hard to believe yet what I did. No, I don't think the lights helped me very much. I had pretty good stuff tonight."
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