This Day in Baseball History: June 29th, 1990

Would Fernandomania have lasted longer with Nolan Ryan as his coach/vice president of operations?

On June 29, 1990:

Dave Stewart and Fernando Valenzuela throw no-hitters.

By 1990, Fernando Valenzuela had passed the prime of his career, and he would not be very effective during that season or any following seasons. Dave Stewart, on the other hand, was in the prime of his career and in the midst of 4 consecutive seasons in which he won at least 20 games, but he would never win a Cy Young Award. These two pitchers, on separate career paths, would cross historical paths on the same day.

Up first was Stewart in a meeting with the Toronto Blue Jays. Stewart was flat-out dominant. He struck out 12 in 9 innings while walking 3, though it started a little shaky. In the first inning, he walked the first two batters he faced, but he would go on to retire the next 25 straight before walking the penultimate batter of the game. Because the lead-off man tried to steal second, Stewart only faced 29 batters while throwing 115 pitches. The Athletics went on to win the game 5-0.

Minutes later, it was Valenzuela’s turn, facing the St. Louis Cardinals. The 29-year old Dodger lefty was facing a bad Cardinals team, one that would lost 92 games, and he took complete advantage. Other than consecutive walks to Pedro Guerrero and Todd Zeile, the Cardinals never threatened. Valenzuela went the whole way, striking out 7 and walking 3. The Dodgers would commit an error, but the Cardinals would make 3 in a game they just didn’t do anything right in. 119 pitches and 30 batters after the game started, Valenzuela had a no-no, and the Dodgers had a 6-0 victory.

Even cooler (though don’t read until after you’ve answered the trivia question), ESPN showed the two games back-to-back on national television that night. That would have been awesome to have watched both of those games.

Trivia Time
Two no-hitters in the same day had only happened one other time in baseball history. Name the other year.

Yesterday’s Answer –> Dr. James Andrews, of course. Who else?

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3 Responses to “This Day in Baseball History: June 29th, 1990”

  1. Ian Says:

    I want to say 1908. I know that was a dominant year for pitching, and I believe several no-hitters were thrown. I'll make that my guess.

  2. lar Says:

    This is my favorite part of the article you linked to:

    "It marked the first time that four nine-inning no-hitters had occurred in a single month. Randy Johnson of Seattle pitched one on June 2 and Nolan Ryan produced his sixth on June 11.

    And it represented the highly unusual instance of no-hitters by three ''prestige'' pitchers in one season. Ryan, Stewart and Valenzuela are among the most distinguished big-name pitchers of their time, and form a cluster of no-hitters that has no exact counterpart in the record book."

    Ryan, Stewart, and Valenzuela are the "prestige" pitchers, not that tall dude from Seattle. Of course, Johnson wasn't a big deal yet, but it's still funny to see Randy Johnson cast aside as the "non-prestige" pitcher.

  3. tHeMARksMiTh Says:

    My how times change. I love stuff like that. Johnson is probably the best of the four.

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