Friday, October 4, 2013

October 4, 1891: Ted Breitenstein Tosses The First No Hitter In The History Of The St. Louis Cardinals Organization

On October 4, 1891, in his first major league start, lefthanded pitcher Ted Breitenstein threw the first no-hitter in the history of the organization that would become known as the Cardinals. The masterpiece came in front of a home crowd at Sportsman's Park in an 8-0 win over the Louisville Colonels. The 22 year-old St. Louis native faced the minimum 27 batters, allowing just one walk to Harry Taylor who was promptly erased with a double play. This happened in the last year that the Browns were a part of the American Association. After the league folded they joined the National League at the beginning of the 1892 campaign. Breitenstein's  no-no was the first time it had been accomplished by a pitcher in his first major league start and the last no-hitter that was tossed in the American Association. Breitenstein did appear in several games as a reliever before he got a chance to start. He made the most of the chance as he pitched his way into the history books. Breitenstein pitched for 11 years in the major with limited success. In 1893, he posted a 3.18 e.r.a. which was the best in the National League, despite that fact he had a 19-24 record that season. He recorded 27 wins for the Browns in 1894 which was his highest win total while he was a member of the St. Louis club. After spending his first 6 seasons in his hometown Breitenstein was sold to the Cincinnati Reds. He spent 4 years in Cincy, topping the 20 win mark twice and he even recorded his second no-hitter as a member of the Reds in 1898. After four seasons in Cincinnati he returned to St. Louis for the 1901 season, at this point the team had taken the Cardinals name and he had come full circle. He only pitched in three games during the 1901 season, before moving on to the Southern Association where he played for 11 more years. Over the course of his 11 years in the majors, Breitenstein posted a 160-170 record, he might not have had Hall of Fame numbers but he will always be the first pitcher to record a no-hitter in the history of the Cardinals organization. It would take 33 years for another pitcher to accomplish the feat as a member of the Cardinals. To date, 10 men have tossed a no-no for the organization.

Here are Breitenstein's career numbers:

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