This Day in Baseball History: August 12th, 1921

Murry Dickson, ladies and gentlemen.

On August 12, 1921:

George Smith throws a shutout, beating the Braves 4-0.

George Smith was an average major-league pitcher that played mainly for the New York (Baseball) Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies. He pitched in parts of 8 seasons and had a career record of 41-81 with a 3.89 ERA (93 ERA+). However, Smith wasn’t a full-time starter, and out of his 229 career appearances, he only started 118 of them. But he made one count on August 12, 1921 against the Boston Braves. During his complete-game shutout, he gave up 12 hits. That’s pretty amazing if you think about it. That’s at least 1 runner an inning, and pitchers generally only strand around 75% of their runners. You figure he would have given up around 3-4 runs, but luck was on his side that night. Out of curiosity, I looked up some stuff on pitchers who have given up a lot of hits but gave up zero runs.

On July 15, 1964, Mudcat Grant went the distance, giving up zero runs on 13 hits and a walk. Surprisingly, that’s not the most runners allowed while still holding the other team scoreless, and that even counts only 9 inning games. Grant’s Twins went on to beat the Senators 6-0.

On September 14, 1983, Tommy John went 13 innings while giving up 13 hits but zero runs. He also failed to walk a batter, which is rather impressive. What sucks is that he didn’t receive a decision and his team lost.

On August 12, 1976, Catfish Hunter also went 13 innings, but he also didn’t factor into the decision. However, Hunter’s Yankees went on to win in 15 innings when the Yankees busted out for 5 runs against the California Angels. Hunter was very good, giving up 11 hits and 4 walks as well as a hit batsman. The 16 base runners ties for the most baserunners allowed (at least in the Retrosheet Era) without giving up a run.

On June 6, 1964, Jim Bouton, also with the Yankees, did almost exactly what Hunter did. He went 13 innings and gave up 15 baserunners (10 hits and 5 walks), and the Yankees waited to score until the 15th inning, when they beat (surprise!) the California Angels 2-0.

But the most impressive (or luckiest) outing belongs to Murry Dickson. He went 9 innings in a 4-0 win for his Phillies while giving up zero runs on 10 hits, 5 walks, an error on June 9, 1954.

Trivia Time
What Ivy League university did Smith attend?

Yesterday’s Answer –> The Toledo Mud Hens suffer this curse after Felton criticized the fans after a playoff game. Oddly, that was Felton’s last professional win.

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One Response to “This Day in Baseball History: August 12th, 1921”

  1. Ron Rollins Says:

    Yale

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