Feller’s Second No-Hitter Was His Best

Can one no-hitter be better than another? In the eyes of Indians legend Bob Feller, he believes so.

Feller threw his second of three no-hitters on April 30, 1946—exactly 67 years ago today.

His first of the three came on Opening Day 1940 against the Chicago White Sox, a game that Feller is quick to dismiss. His second, he says, is the one that deserves the attention.

“The no-hitter on opening day in Chicago is the one that gets all the attention,” Feller said in a 2010 USA Today article. “But my no-hitter at Yankee Stadium was against a much better team than the White Sox.”

After missing three-plus season because of World War II, it would have been understandable if the Heater from Van Meter lost a step or two. Thankfully for Cleveland, it didn’t take long for Feller to get back into the game.

Attendance at Yankee Stadium that day was 38,112. Talks of Feller’s fastball losing some of its heat surrounded the big righty after he lost his last two starts. The Yankee’s had never been no-hit at home. The game had the makings of another loss.

Feller took on New York’s Bill Bevens and a lineup that included Hall of Famers Phil Rizzuto and Joe Dimaggio.

In nine innings of work, only two balls were hit into the outfield off Feller. Five Yankee’s walked and 11 struck out.

“With the tying run on second base with one out in the ninth, Feller retires DiMaggio and Charlie Keller on grounders to throw the first no-hitter against the Yankees in 27 years,” according to an ESPN Classic article.

In two hours and 14 minutes Feller and the Indians shocked the Yankee’s at home, winning the game 1-0 and not allowing a single hit.

Even though his Opening Day no-no in 1940 remains as the only Opening Day no-hitter in history, it can’t be compared to the game at Yankee Stadium. At least according to Feller.

“There was no comparison (to my first no-hitter),” Feller said in the same USA Today article. “I had to pitch to (the Yankees’) Tommy Henrich, Charlie Keller and Joe DiMaggio in the ninth inning to get the Yankees out.”

DiMaggio had never seen Feller pitch like that before.

“Feller was as great as he’s ever been,” said Yankees star Joe DiMaggio in the ESPN Classic article. “He deserved the no-hitter.” DiMaggio was 0-4 in the game.

 

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