Saturday, October 4, 2014

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

     On October 4, 1891, Ted Breitenstein recorded the first no-hitter in the history of the organization that would become known as the St. Louis Cardinals. Breitenstein's historic gem came in the first game of a doubleheader against the Louisville Colonels on the final day of the season in St. Louis, and it lifted the club to an 8-0 victory. The runs on the scoreboard were not the story of this day, as the number in the Louisville hit column resembled a goose egg.

     The 22-year-old was the first pitcher to accomplish the feat in his first major league start. That has only been accomplished twice since, as Charley Jones tossed a no-no in his first major league start for the Reds, and Bobo Holloman accomplished the feat in his first major league start as a member of the St. Louis Brown in 1953. The Holloman no-no came in St. Louis, and could be easily regarded as the last great moment for that organization in St. Louis.

     The no-no by Breitenstein was witnessed by just 500 fans. Those 500 fans witnessed more than just the first no-no in the history of the franchise, they also witnessed the first time a pitcher would achieve the feat in his first major league start. The 22-year-old hurler faced the minimum 27 batters, and struck out eight of them. The only Louisville batter to reach was first baseman Harry Taylor who was erased by a double play.

     At the time it was called one of the finest games ever pitched, and that it was. It proved to be the last no-hitter in the history of the American Association, as the league disbanded, and the Browns joined the ranks of the National League the following year. It took 33 years for another pitcher to accomplish the feat for the club that became known as the Cardinals. To date, 10 men have recorded a no-hitter with the club. The legendary list of men begins with one name: Ted Breitenstein.

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