Bob Feller returned to a Major League mound for the first time since 1941 and, judging by the results, it looked as though he never left as the 26-year-old allows just two runs on four hits with 12 strikeouts in a complete game victory over the Detroit Tigers.
There was a fair bit of controversy on this date in 1937, as the Cleveland Indians would protest a 7-6 loss to the New York Yankees as the home town club rallied for two runs in the bottom of the tenth to earn a win aided by some confusion among the umpires calling the game.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame welcomes in four new members, including two with direct ties to the Cleveland Indians organization. Legendary pitcher Bob Feller and infielder Jackie Robinson, voted in by the Baseball Writers Association of America, are joined by manager/coach Bill McKechnie and outfielder Edd Roush via selection by the Veteran’s Committee.
Len Barker, getting the sign from Ron Hassey. Ernie Whitt stands in. Wind up, here it comes. Fly ball, center field. Manning coming on, he’s there…he catches it! Len Barker has pitched a no-hitter! A perfect game for Len Barker! The stands erupt, the players go out, Len Barker being surrounded on the field. He has made baseball history here tonight. Len Barker has pitched a perfect ball game. Faces 27 men, retires them all, eleven strikeouts. Len Barker being mobbed on the field, the Cleveland Indians win it, 3-0. – Herb Score’s call of Barker’s perfect game
It has now been 37 years since Len Barker lifted his leg high and tight on a 1-2 pitch to Toronto Blue Jays catcher Ernie Whitt, inducing a fly ball to center field. Rick Manning raced in, arms extended straight out as though he were flying. He raised both arms above his head and he secured the catch before beginning his ascent to the mound with several high hops in celebration of the 27th and final out of Barker’s perfect game.
Seventy-two years ago this week, Bob Feller became just the second pitcher in Indians history to throw multiple no-hitters, getting his second no-no against the Yankees.
To finish it off, he had to go through the meat of the Bronx Bombers’ lineup, including Tommy Henrich, nicknamed “Ol’ Reliable” by longtime Yankees broadcaster Mel Allen for his ability to deliver in the clutch.
But it’s entirely possible that Feller and Henrich could have been teammates – possibly in Cleveland OR New York.