Buried Treasure: The Pirates’ first no-hitter


On September 20, 1907, Nick Maddox pitched the first no-hitter in Pirate history. He remains the youngest pitcher to throw a no-hitter since the pitching distance became 60 feet, 6 inches, at 20 years and 10 months.

The headline on The Pittsburg Press' story was "PIRATES WIN A GREAT GAME/Brooklyn Held to No Hits, But Secures One Run" while the Pittsburgh Post went with "MADDOX PROVES BRIGHT STAR IN SENSATIONAL SLAB BATTLE/Pitches First Hitless Game in History of Pittsburgh Baseball Club./Pirates Defeat Brooklyn in the Most Sensational Contest of the Season." (Yes, the Post used the H in Pittsburgh.)

The Pirates brought Maddox up from the Wheeling Stogies in September, 1907. His first National League start was a two-hit shutout of St. Louis on Sept. 13, where he struck out 14. He beat the Cardinals again three days later, and then "the Pirates' Central League recruit" started against the Brooklyn Superbas at Exposition Park on Sept. 20. He was opposed by spitballer Elmer Stricklett, who only gave up two hits himself, both by Fred Clarke. The legendary Bill Klem was the umpire.

Neither of Clarke's hits was involved in the scoring. As the Post put it, "Thus safe bingles had nothing to do with the run-getting and had not several errors crept into the clash, both sides might have played until dark without either crossing the platter."

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