As Feller taught us, jinxing no-hitters isn’t a new thing.

One of the many things I discovered while researching Bob Feller’s Opening Day no-hitter in 1940 is that paranoia surrounding a no-hitter goes back longer than any of us have been alive.

The story of how Feller tried to jinx Randy Johnson’s no-no in 1994 is pretty awesome, considering he was pacing the press box and telling anyone within ear shot, “You know, I am the only pitcher to throw a no-hitter on Opening Day.” That included visits to the TV booth and the radio booth — and, by visits, I mean that Feller burst into the booth and just started yelling, not caring that the mics were live and the broadcasters were in the middle of an inning.

But I have to admit I was even more entertained by what I read in the clippings the Indians sent me from the actual newspaper coverage after Feller’s no-no 75 years ago. In an article titled, “Indians Refuse to Discuss No-Hitter,” we are given a detailed account of some of the conversations that went on when Feller was really close, but not quite there yet, to nailing down history.

I realize this game was a loooooooong time ago, and maybe the way people express themselves has changed a bit. But I also have to wonder if journalistic liberties were taken with some of these accounts. For example, here’s what the Plain Dealer had to say:


“I’ll stick my hand down your throat to the elbow”?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great line. I sense it would be a real crowd-pleaser on Twitter these days. But is that really how people talked back then?

The rest of the story is pretty great, too.


Now, this just makes me feel oddly comforted. There’s something so cool about reading something an article that was written 75 years ago and still could apply today. This scene would have played out EXACTLY this way if Feller were throwing a no-hitter today. And that’s just really great.

But then there’s this, and I have no idea what to make of it, except that it’s hilarious:

0416_PD_part3Was Melillo being polite and really using all of those blankety-blank-blanks and so-and-sos and this-and-thats? Or was that the reporter cleaning it up so he could use the quote in the story?

Either way, it’s awesome.


Yes, that was a long time ago. Great story and thanks for sharing Alyson!

Reblogged this on Blogs Central and commented:

If you’re always worried about jinxing a no-hitter, then check out this story by’s Alyson Footer about how the subject came up even 75 years ago…

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A traveling Hall of Fame exhibit stopped in a Houston mall with much fanfare that Bob Feller would be there. After standing in line for a bit and finally arriving in front of the man himself, I was loudly and ungraciously told I needed to buy a ball or picture to get an autograph. His antics to jinx Randy Johnson therefore do not surprise me as clearly he was not a nice or gracious man.

Ah, the sports-writing of a bygone era. Think how the Richard Sherman Super Bowl outburst would have been covered back in the day! Or for that matter, the Reds manager’s outburst in which it was gleefully counted how many curse words he uttered.

Please post more here, Alyson!

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