The 11 who caught AND managed no-nos

February 13th, 2021

A no-hitter ranks among baseball's biggest individual achievements, but it’s a team effort, too. Besides those throwing the pitches, perhaps no teammate is more integral to the feat than the catcher calling and receiving the game.

But while hundreds of catchers have experienced the thrill of catching a Major League no-hitter, only 11 have gone on to enjoy it again in another cerebral position: as a field manager. Here is a rundown of those who hold the rare distinction of having both caught and managed a no-no.

David Ross

Caught: Jake Arrieta (Cubs), April 21, 2016
Managed: Alec Mills (Cubs), Sept. 13, 2020

Ross made sure to acknowledge the work of Cubs catcher Victor Caratini in the moments after Mills’ no-hitter in Milwaukee, stating “I know what that feels like.” Indeed he did: Ross was also involved in Chicago’s most recent no-no before Mills, having raised his arms in the air behind home plate after Arrieta had twirled his second no-hitter in the span of eight months. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was also on the field for both feats.

Brad Ausmus

Caught: Roy Oswalt and five relievers (Astros), June 11, 2003
Managed: Taylor Cole and Felix Peña (Angels), July 12, 2019

Ausmus was involved with two very memorable combined no-hitters. In 2003, he navigated a parade of six different Astros pitchers through a historic Interleague no-hitter at old Yankee Stadium. Sixteen years later, Ausmus and his Angels gutted through an emotional no-no against the Mariners while every L.A. player wore No. 45 in tribute to the late Tyler Skaggs, who had passed away just 11 days before.

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Joe Girardi

Caught: Dwight Gooden (Yankees), May 14, 1996; David Cone (Yankees, perfect game), July 18, 1999
Managed: Aníbal Sánchez (Marlins), Sept. 6, 2006

Girardi guided a couple Yankee veterans from behind the plate in 31-year-old Doc Gooden, who had just worked his way back from a full-season suspension for cocaine use, and Cone, who was 36 when he authored MLB’s 16th perfect game. Then, in his first year as a big league skipper with Florida, Girardi was on the bench when his 22-year-old rookie starter, Sánchez, shut down the D-backs in Miami. The Marlins would dismiss Girardi just weeks later, though he later won that year’s NL Manager of the Year Award.

Scott Servais

Caught: Darryl Kile (Astros), Sept. 8, 1993
Managed: James Paxton (Mariners), May 8, 2018

Kile had to fight to earn his spot in Houston’s 1993 rotation, but he wound up being one of the Astros’ best arms that year, finishing with 15 wins and the ninth no-hitter in franchise history against the Mets. His battery-mate, Servais, was also a somewhat unlikely hero that day as the club’s backup catcher behind Eddie Taubensee. Twenty-five years later, Servais watched British Columbia native James Paxton mow down 16 Blue Jays while authoring a dominant no-no for the Mariners on Canadian soil.

Mike Scioscia

Caught: Fernando Valenzuela (Dodgers), June 29, 1990; Kevin Gross (Dodgers), Aug. 17, 1992
Managed: Ervin Santana (Angels), July 27, 2011; Jered Weaver (Angels), May 2, 2012

The first no-hitter Scioscia caught came on a historic day for baseball, as June 29, 1990, marked only the second time that MLB witnessed two no-nos on the same day. As Scioscia recalled to MLB.com in 2017, Valenzuela saw Dave Stewart wrap up his no-hitter in Toronto on TV and told his teammates that they were about to see him throw another one. Scioscia went on to catch Gross’ no-hitter in his final Dodgers season behind the plate, and then managed two more for Los Angeles’ other team.

One game that isn’t included here is a bizarre contest that happened under Scioscia’s watch. On June 28, 2008, Scioscia’s Angels lost to the Dodgers, 1-0, even though Halos pitchers Weaver and José Arredondo didn’t allow a single hit. Dodgers star Matt Kemp scored on a fifth-inning sac fly after he reached on an error, stole second and advanced to third on another error, and the Angels didn’t qualify for a no-hitter because they only pitched eight innings as the visiting team.

Jeff Torborg

Caught: Sandy Koufax (Dodgers, perfect game), Sept. 9, 1965; Bill Singer (Dodgers), July 20, 1970; Nolan Ryan (Angels), May 15, 1973
Managed: Wilson Álvarez (White Sox), Aug. 11, 1991

Torborg caught not one, but two of the most dominant pitchers of all-time at arguably the peak of their powers. Koufax’s 14-strikeout perfect game (his fourth and final career no-hitter) against the Cubs is considered his masterpiece, and he and Torborg needed every out to beat Cubs pitcher Bob Hendley, who only allowed one hit and an unearned run. Koufax struck out at least one hitter in every inning of that game, as did Ryan in his first of seven career no-nos that Torborg caught for the Angels in 1973.

The no-hitter that Torborg managed was an emotional one, as his pitcher, Álvarez, tossed it on the one-year anniversary of the death of his first child from a pulmonary infection. It was the first time Torborg had seen Álvarez pitch in game action; the White Sox acquired Álvarez from the Rangers after Álvarez gave up three runs without recording an out in his big league debut for Texas.

Herman Franks

Caught: Tex Carleton (Dodgers), April 30, 1940
Managed: Gaylord Perry (Giants), Sept. 17, 1968

Franks was only a second-year backstop when he caught Carleton’s no-hitter against the Reds in April 1940, a game that marked the Dodgers’ ninth straight win to begin the season. Franks threw out one of the two baserunners that reached via walk in that game when the runner tried to steal second. He would later manage the Dodgers’ fierce rivals, the Giants, from 1965-68 and watched Perry twirl a no-no while outdueling Bob Gibson.

Bill Carrigan

Caught: Smokey Joe Wood (Red Sox), July 29, 1911; Rube Foster (Red Sox), June 21, 1916; Dutch Leonard (Red Sox), Aug. 30, 1916
Managed/Caught: Foster and Leonard (Red Sox), 1916

Carrigan guided a Red Sox legend in Wood to the only no-hitter of his decorated career, and then he guided the 1916 Sox to a legendary season. The ‘16 World Series champions saw their pitchers twirl a pair of no-nos on their way to the title, and Carrigan both managed and caught each contest -- first Foster’s gem against the Yankees and then Leonard’s no-hitter against the Browns -- at Fenway Park.

Roger Bresnahan

Caught: Hooks Wiltse (Giants), July 4, 1908
Managed: Jimmy Lavender (Cubs), Aug. 31, 1915

Bresnahan is known far more for how he revolutionized the catcher position with his equipment (he was the first Major Leaguer to wear shin guards) and his hitting ability (he was among the first backstops to bat leadoff) than the no-hitters he was involved in. But Bresnahan hung in tough for Wiltse's 10-inning no-hitter with the Giants on Independence Day, 1908, and he very nearly caught and managed Lavender’s no-no as the Cubs’ player/skipper in '15 -- but he put catcher Jimmy Archer on his lineup card instead.

Chief Zimmer

Caught: Cy Young (Cleveland), Sept. 18, 1897
Managed/Caught: Chick Fraser (Phillies), Sept. 18, 1903

Zimmer was so adept at receiving that his famous batterymate, the great Cy Young, became worried he wasn’t throwing hard enough after their first session together. Young averaged 29 wins per season with Zimmer behind the plate on the Cleveland Spiders from 1891 to 1898, and one of their most brilliant pairings came on Sept. 18, 1897, when Young and Zimmer shut down the Reds. Six years later to the day, Zimmer also caught Phillies pitcher Chick Fraser’s no-hitter in the only season of Zimmer’s career as a player/manager.

Wilbert Robinson

Caught: Ed Seward (Philadelphia -- AA), July 26, 1888; Bill Hawke (Orioles), Aug. 16, 1893
Managed: Dazzy Vance (Dodgers), Sept. 13, 1925

Robinson was the face of the Brooklyn franchise (named the Robins in his honor for many years), managing the club for 18 years across much of the 1910s and 1920s. But he oversaw just one no-hitter during all that time, thrown by his old workhorse, Vance, in Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Phillies. Robinson was also an accomplished catcher for the former NL Baltimore Orioles franchise (he once went 7-for-7 in a game in 1892), and he received a no-no behind the plate both for Baltimore (Hawke) and the American Association’s Philadelphia club (Seward).