Today in Tribe History: September 18, 1908

Bob Rhoads tosses the first no-hitter in Cleveland Naps history as they defeat the Boston Red Sox, 2-1.

“Dusty”, the Wooster, Ohio, native, was in his seventh season with Cleveland. The win did not come easy, as he had to work out of trouble several times throughout the game to get the win. In the second, Boston’s Doc Gessler walked to lead off the inning and was sacrificed to second by Jack Thoney. Heinie Wagner hit a grounder that was misplayed by Nap Lajoie for an error, allowing Gessler to reach third safely. A wild pitch enabled Gessler to score with the first and only run of the game for Boston.

The Naps were contained at the plate by Frank Arellanes, the only Mexican pitcher in the Majors. The Red Sox loaded the bases in the fourth inning against Rhoads, but were unable to score. Cleveland tied it in the bottom of the inning, as Lajoie tripled to right center and two batters later scored on a single to center by Harry Bemis.

With the score tied in the eighth, Wilbur Good singled with one out and would later come around to score the deciding run after an error and a wild pitch.

Rhoads had previously thrown a no-hitter in an exhibition game for Cleveland against Albany (New York State League), but lost the contest, 1-0. His no-hitter is the third thrown in the history of professional Cleveland baseball, joining Hugh Daily’s one-armed hitless outing, September 13th, 1883, for the Cleveland Blues and Cy Young’s no-hitter for the Cleveland Spiders on this date in 1897.

It is the fourth no-hitter in Major League Baseball this season and the second in the American League, two and a half months after Young threw one for the Red Sox on June 30th. It will not be the last in the game this season either, as Chicago’s Frank Smith will throw one just two days later and the Naps’ Addie Joss will fire a perfect game on October 2nd.

Rhoads will play in just 20 games the following season, going 5-9 to end his MLB career.

Photo: Cleveland Plain Dealer Historical Archives

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