Everything you need to know about no-hitters

September 1st, 2019

Mike Fiers’ no-hitter on May 7, 2019, against the Reds was the 300th no-hitter in Major League history, including the postseason (and other "major" leagues from baseball's early years, such as the Federal League). That total has since been pushed to 303, as the Astros tossed two more no-hitters later in the season -- a combined effort on Aug. 3 and Justin Verlander's third career no-no on Sept. 1 -- and the Angels threw a combined one on July 12 in their first home game after the death of Tyler Skaggs.

How long did it take to get here? Well, there were 19,288 days between the first no-hitter, by George Bradley, of the St. Louis Brown Stockings against the Hartford Dark Blues, on July 15, 1876, and the 100th by Carl Hubbell on May 8, 1929 against the Pirates. There were 17,553 days between that and the 200th by Dennis Eckersley on May 30, 1977, against the Angels. And there were 15,316 between that and the 300th on May 7, 2019.

That’s a lot of no-hitters over a lot of days. Let’s take a look at some of the notable facts and figures that accompany the sport’s no-hitter history:

The milestone no-hitters:

1st: George Bradley -- July 15, 1876

100th: Carl Hubbell -- May 8, 1929

200th: Dennis Eckersley -- May 30, 1977

300th: Mike Fiers -- May 7, 2019

Of the 303 no-hitters, 301 were in the regular season and two -- Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series and Roy Halladay’s no-hitter in Game 1 of the 2010 NLDS -- were in the postseason.


Which pitcher has thrown the most no-hitters? The most no-hitters by any individual is seven, by Nolan Ryan. There are six pitchers who have thrown more than two no-hitters: Ryan, Sandy Koufax (4), Bob Feller (3), Larry Corcoran (3), Cy Young (3) and Verlander (3). Fiers is one of 35 pitchers with at least two no-hitters, including the postseason. He is the only one of that group whose career complete games is the same number as his no-hitters: two.

Which month and year have seen the most? The most no-hitters in a calendar month are 65, in September (given the influx of Minor Leaguers when rosters expand on Sept. 1, this makes sense). There have been 37 in April, the fewest of any full calendar month in which regular-season baseball is played. Fiers’ no-hitter was the 49th in May, putting that month one shy of tying June at 50 for second-most no-hitters in any calendar month.

There were a Major League-record eight no-hitters in 1884. There were seven in 1990, 1991, 2012 and 2015.

Which franchise has the most no-hitters? That distinction belongs to the Dodgers, who have thrown 22 of them, four more than any other team. The Red Sox and White Sox are tied for second with 18 each.

How about the fewest? The Padres are the only team to have never thrown a no-hitter. There are five franchises with one: the Blue Jays, Brewers, Mets, Rays and Rockies.


Who has the most strikeouts in a no-hitter? Max Scherzer struck out 17 batters in his second no-hitter of 2015, against the Mets. That tied the record for most strikeouts by a pitcher in a no-hitter, initially set by Nolan Ryan on July 15, 1973.

The fewest strikeouts in a complete-game no-hitter? That would be none. It’s been done three times, by Earl Hamilton on Aug. 30, 1912, Sam Jones on Sept. 4, 1923 and Ken Holtzman on Aug. 19, 1969.

What about most walks? The most walks in a no-hitter is 10, by Jim Maloney on Aug. 19, 1965, for the Reds against the Cubs. But he pitched 10 innings. If we look at nine-inning no-hitters, the most is nine, by A.J. Burnett on May 12, 2001, for the Marlins against the Padres.

How many members of the 300-win club have thrown a no-hitter? There are 24 pitchers with at least 300 wins in Major League history, already a pretty short list. Of those 24 pitchers, 12 of have thrown a no-hitter, led by Ryan’s seven.

Who is the youngest pitcher to throw one? That would be Amos Rusie of the New York Giants on July 31, 1891. He was 20 years, 62 days old. On the flip side, the oldest was Ryan, who did it for the Rangers on May 1, 1991, at 44 years, 90 days old.

Who had the fewest starts to get to a first career no-hitter? There are three individuals who threw a no-hitter in their first career starts: Theodore Breitenstein on Oct. 4, 1891, Bumpus Jones on Oct. 15, 1892 and Bobo Holloman on May 6, 1953. How different was baseball when Breitenstein and Jones did this? The mound hadn’t yet been moved to its current distance -- that would happen in 1893.

Warren Spahn is on the other end of the starts spectrum: He made 505 career starts before throwing his first no-hitter in his 506th start on Sept. 16, 1960. He’d go on to join the list of pitchers with multiple no-hitters, throwing another less than a year later on April 28, 1961.

How many pitchers have homered on the day they threw a no-hitter? Five pitchers have hit a home run in a no-hitter they threw: Frank Mountain in 1884, Wes Ferrell in 1931, Jim Tobin in 1944, Earl Wilson in 1962 and Rick Wise in 1971. Wise hit two in his game.

Has anyone thrown multiple no-hitters against the same team? On Sept. 1, 2019, Verlander became the third pitcher to pitch multiple no-hitters against the same team. Addie Joss no-hit the White Sox in 1908 and 1910, and Tim Lincecum no-hit the Padres in 2013 and 2014. Verlander is the only pitcher with multiple no-hitters on the road against the same opponent.

Has anyone thrown consecutive no-hitters? And the rarest feat has been saved for last -- throwing consecutive no-hitters. The only pitcher to do this was the Reds' Johnny Vander Meer on June 11 and 15 in 1938, against the Boston Bees and Brooklyn Dodgers, respectively. Nobody had done it before, and nobody has done it since.