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A game to remember: Donahue's 1898 no-no

Francis L. "Red" Donahue went 72-48 with a 3.26 ERA for the Phillies from 1898-1901. (Phillies)
November 15, 2017

The second no-hitter by a Phillies pitcher occurred on July 8, 1898, when 25-year-old right-hander Francis L. "Red" Donahue blanked the Boston Beaneaters (Braves), 5-0, at Baker Bowl. His catcher was Ed McFarland. The pitcher's mound was at the current distance of 60 feet and six inches.The 1898 season was

The second no-hitter by a Phillies pitcher occurred on July 8, 1898, when 25-year-old right-hander Francis L. "Red" Donahue blanked the Boston Beaneaters (Braves), 5-0, at Baker Bowl. His catcher was Ed McFarland. The pitcher's mound was at the current distance of 60 feet and six inches.
The 1898 season was Donahue's first with the Phillies. He finished 16-17 and a 3.55 ERA for 35 starts. Oddly, he walked 80 and only struck out 57.
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The first batter Donahue faced in his July 8 no-hitter reached base on an error. A similar play began the seventh. Overall, he walked two and struck out one. Boston left four runners on base. The game took one hour and 50 minutes. It was his only shutout of the season and just the second of his career.
"Pitcher Donahue today performed the remarkable feat of shutting out the Boston club without a hit," the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote the following day. "Donahue did not seem to exert himself in the least in making his great record against the Beaneaters, but he made excellent use of the gray matter beneath his auburn locks. First, it was a tantalizing slow one, and then a very speedy curve. His change of pace could not have been excelled, and his opponents were 'shooting ducks' from start to finish. There was not the semblance of a base hit, and had it not been for errors by Cross and Lauder, only two visitors would have reached first base, these being given bases on balls. Seventeen Boston men were retired on fly catches, 14 of which went to the outfielders."
Donahue, a Villanova University product, pitched 13 years in the Majors with the New York Giants, National League St. Louis Browns (later to become the Cardinals), Phillies (1898-1901), American League St. Louis Browns (later the Baltimore Orioles), Cleveland Naps (later the Indians) and Detroit Tigers. Philadelphia acquired him from St. Louis (NL) on Nov. 10, 1897, with Monte Cross and Klondike Douglass for Jack Clements, Lave Cross, Tommy Dowd, Jack Taylor and $1,000 after a 10-35 season.
Donahue compiled a 72-48 record with the Phillies, winning 20 or more games twice.
Born in Waterbury, Conn., in 1873, he died in Philadelphia in 1913 at age 40.

Larry Shenk is the editor of the Phillies Alumni section.