Today in Tribe History: April 16, 1940

1940 – Cleveland’s 21-year-old Bob Feller opens the season in unhittable fashion, blanking the White Sox in Chicago by a 1-0 final in the first and only Opening Day no-hitter in Major League Baseball history.

Feller kept the White Sox hitless to register the first of his three career no-hitters. He struck out eight and walked five in the ball game. He outdueled Chicago’s Eddie Smith, who was also strong on the mound in eight innings, allowing six hits and a pair of walks while striking out five.

The Indians got their lone run in the fourth inning. Jeff Heath singled to left with one out and, after Ken Keltner flied out, catcher Rollie Hemsley supported his battery mate with a run-scoring triple to right. The White Sox threatened to score off of Feller in the second when they loaded the bases on an error and a pair of walks, but the young Tribe ace struck out his future teammate Bob Kennedy to end the scoring opportunity. After a walk to start the third, Feller retired 20 consecutive hitters.

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