While no-nos are obviously tremendous accomplishments, the list of pitchers who have thrown one includes some names you wouldn’t expect. When it comes to hurlers who have done it more than once, that is understandably not the case. Let’s take a look at the 35 pitchers who have thrown multiple no-hitters.
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Flame-throwing Nolan Ryan paces this list with an incredible seven no-hitters, although somewhat surprisingly, in none of the seven was he able to toss a perfect game. Perhaps what’s most impressive about the Hall-of-Famers’, seven etchings in the history books is how they illustrate just how long he was able to pitch at an elite level. Ryan’s first two no-nos came in 1973 while he was with the Angels, and his last two came as a member of the Rangers in ’90 and ’91.
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Prior to Ryan throwing his 5th no-hitter in late September of 1981, no pitcher had thrown more than Sandy Koufax’s four–a record that at the time seemed exceedingly unlikely to ever fall. The longtime Dodger lefty threw no-nos in four consecutive seasons from 1962-1965, the last of which was a perfect game in a 1-0 win over the Cubs. Koufax was deservedly inducted into the Hall of Fame in ’72 and is still regarded as perhaps the best left-handed pitcher in league history.
Goodwin & Company – Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Benjamin K. Edwards Baseball Card Collection.
Larry Corcoran is a name a lot of fans may be unfamiliar with, but for a brief time in the 1880s as a member of the Chicago White Stockings, he was quite a force on the mound. The right-hander tossed three no-hitters in the early 1880s, but he then had a hard and fast fall from grace. By ’85 Corcoran had a dead arm and two years later he was completely out of baseball. Unrelated to his no-hitters, he is amusingly credited with coming up with the first method of communicating pitches with his catcher–something he accomplished by shifting his wad of tobacco to different places in his mouth.
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The award for the best pitcher in his league is literally named after Cy Young, so his presence on this list should not exactly come as a surprise. The right-hander first accomplished the feat in the first half of a doubleheader in September of 1897, and seven years later he one-upped himself by throwing a perfect game against the Philadelphia Athletics. Young would add the 3rd no-hitter in 1908.
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Bob Feller is the most distinguished pitcher in the history of the Cleveland Indians organization, and one of the best starters in baseball history in general. Early in his career, Feller became the first and only pitcher to ever throw a no-no on Opening Day, when he kept the White Sox hitless in April of 1940. Shortly after that, he would lose almost four years of pitching while serving in the military, but following his return, he impressively hurled two more no-hitters. The 3rd one occurred in a 1951 doubleheader with the Tigers, who notably managed to score a run in the game despite not recording a hit. Feller was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1962.
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One of the few active pitchers on this list, right-hander Justin Verlander has already cemented his legacy as one of the top starters of his generation. In just his second full big-league season with the Tigers–the ’07 campaign– Verlander no-hit the Brewers in a June contest at Comerica Park. Four years later he tossed his second no-hitter north of the border against Toronto, and after a late-career trade to the Astros, he accomplished the feat a 3rd time–ironically also at Rogers Centre in Toronto. The two-time Cy Young award winner is currently recovering from Tommy John surgery and hoping for a 2022 return.
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Pud Galvin first debuted in professional baseball all the way back in 1875, and he delivered quite an interesting career. In late August of 1880, he is credited with being the first Major Leaguer to ever throw a no-hitter on the road when he led the Buffalo Bisons to a 1-0 victory against the Worcester Worcesters. Four seasons later Galvin threw the most lopsided no-hitter in baseball history when he prevented the Detroit Wolverines from scratching even one knock in an 18-0 Bisons victory.
Another hurler who was making a name for himself in the late 1800s, Al Atkinson threw an interesting no-hitter against the Pittsburgh Alleghenys in May of 1884. In that game, the right-hander hit the first batter of the game with a pitch, watched him steal 2nd and 3rd base, and then score on a passed ball. He then went on to retire the next 27 hitters in a row in a game his team would go on to win 10-1. After a brief one-year stint with an independent league team in ’85, Atkinson returned to the Philadelphia Athletics the following season, and in May delivered his second no-hitter, this time in a game he somehow allowed two runs.
Right-hander Adonis Terry debuted for Brooklyn in 1883, and while he was never really a star he was always a serviceable starter with talented upside. On July 24, 1886, he was particularly on point, when he no-hit the St. Louis Browns. Two years later he would accomplish the feat again, this time against the Louisville Colonels. For his career, Terry would finish just one game over .500 as his lifetime record was 197-196. His 3.74 ERA indicates he was good, not great, but on at least two nights he was as good as anyone.
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The Sporting News
Southpaw Ted Breitenstein debuted for the St. Louis Browns in 1891 but was used only sporadically in relief for most of his rookie season. On the very last day of the campaign though, October 4, 1891, Breitenstein was given a chance to start and promptly hurled a no-hitter against the Louisville Colonels. The performance helped earn him a spot in the Browns rotation moving forward, although, for the most part, he was unable to generate consistent success. Prior to the 1897 season, Breitenstein was sold to the Cincinnati Reds, for whom he tossed his second no-no in April of 1898.
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Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson starred for the New York Giants for 17 seasons in the early 1900s and finished with an unbelievable 373 career wins and a 2.13 ERA. It should come as no surprise then, to learn that on two occasions the righty was literally unhittable. The first one came in mid-July of 1901 when he accomplished the feat in a road game against the St. Louis Cardinals. His second one came nearly four years later in Chicago against the Cubs, when he impressively finished with a no-hitter in a game the Giants would win just 1-0.
Right-handed Frank Smith pitched for five teams during the early years of the last century but he’s most well known for his work as a member of the Chicago White Sox, in whose uniform he threw two no-hitters. The first occurred in September of 1904 in a game with the Detroit Tigers, which was noteworthy because Chicago dominated the contest to the tune of 15-0. His second one in September of 1908 was even more interesting. Smith held the Philadelphia Athletics hitless through the first nine innings but unfortunately was unable to celebrate immediately because the score was still 0-0. Luckily the White Sox were able to scratch a run in the bottom of the frame to walk off with a 1-0 victory and put Smith in the record books yet again.
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Wisconsin-born Addie Joss enjoyed a terrific albeit short career for the Cleveland Naps from 1902-1910. The righty retired with a jaw-dropping 1.89 career ERA across 286 professional outings, and the Chicago White Sox in particular sure had no hurt feelings when he decided to hang them up. Joss twice no-hit Chicago, the first of which in October of 1908 was a perfect game.
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Hubert “Dutch” Leonard
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Left-hander Hubert “Dutch” Leonard was an important piece of both the Red Sox and Tigers starting rotations just over a century ago, and on two occasions while pitching for Boston he was the biggest story in baseball. The first time was August 30, 1916, when he held the St. Louis Browns without a hit at Fenway Park in a 4-0 Boston win. Almost two years later he did the same thing in a road game against the Tigers.
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Johnny Vander Meer
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Southpaw Johnny Vander Meer is another player who unfortunately lost some of his playing career due to serving for two years in the active military. Both before and after that, however, he was quite a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds. Vander Meer’s no-hitters are especially unbelievable because they inexplicably came in back-to-back starts in 1938. In the first one, he walked three Boston Bees hitters but prevented the Bees from ever getting a runner into scoring position. Just a few days later he was much more unsteady, as he walked eight Brooklyn Dodgers but was given a long enough leash to finish the game and secure his second no-no.
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Allie Reynolds spent the majority of his career with the Yankees, but prior to that, he was quietly a dynamic right-hander in the Indians rotation. Unfortunately for him, he was with Cleveland at the same time as Bob Feller, so he was always playing second fiddle on their pitching staff. This is why July 12, 1951, must have felt so good for him. Facing his old team, Reynolds was matched up with the aforementioned Feller and rose to the occasion to throw the game of his life. In a tight 1-0 affair, Reynolds no-hit the Indians retiring the last 17 hitters to face him. A little over two months later he threw his second no-hitter, this time against Boston. Ted Williams popped up for the final out.
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In 1952 righty Virgil Trucks was decidedly the lone bright spot on a Detroit Tigers team that finished an abysmal 50-104. That season Trucks’ personal record was a discouraging 5-19, but incredibly two of those five victories were no-hitters. The first of which came just a few starts into the season and couldn’t have come any more out of the blue. Through three outings Trucks sported an ugly 13.50 ERA, yet two starts later he struck out seven Washington Senators while walking only one and allowing no hits in a 1-0 victory. In late August he accomplished the feat yet again, this time beating the Yankees in what ended up being another 1-0 Tigers victory.
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Carl Erskine played his entire career with the Dodgers, predominantly in Brooklyn but also later in Los Angeles. The right-hander was never really a star, making one all-star team and finishing with a lifetime ERA of 4.00 in a 12-year career, but on two special occasions, he certainly earned the spotlight. His first no-hitter came in 1952 in a home game against the Cubs. Erskine struck out only one Chicago batter but also walked only one, en route to a 5-0 victory that earned him national recognition and put his name in the record books. His second one came four years later against the Dodgers’ arch-rival Giants.
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Right-hander Jim Bunning enjoyed a tremendous 17-year career that saw him qualify for nine all-star teams and earn a bust in Cooperstown when his playing days were over. Splitting most of his career with the Tigers and Phillies, Bunning was the epitome of an ace for a long time, and his outings brought excitement and anticipation each time. On July 20, 1958, Bunning certainly rewarded the fans with a day they wouldn’t soon forget. In a contest with the Red Sox, he held Boston hitless in a 3-0 Detroit win. Just a couple of seasons later though, Bunning outdid himself. On Father’s Day in 1964, now with the Phillies, the veteran delivered a perfect game against the Mets in the opening game of a doubleheader. At the time he joined Cy Young as the only two pitchers to ever throw a no-hitter in each league, though Nolan Ryan, Hideo Nomo, and Randy Johnson all now share that distinction.
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Longtime Braves southpaw Warren Spahn is truly one of the best starting pitchers in baseball history. During his illustrious career, Spahn made a crazy 17 all-star teams, won three ERA titles, earned a Cy Young award, and was part of a World Series-winning team in 1957. He was easily elected to the Hall-of-Fame shortly after retiring. The only thing missing for the majority of his career was the honor of having thrown a no-hitter, but he sure changed that narrative towards the back end of his playing days. In September of 1960–at 39-years-old—Spahn held the Phillies hitless in a home game in Milwaukee, walking only two in a 4-0 win. Just for good measure, the following season Spahn tossed his 2nd no-no, this time against the Giants in a much tighter 1-0 game.
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Reds’ righty Jim Maloney had a reputation for being one of the hardest throwing starting pitchers during the 1960s, and while the velocity didn’t always amount to success for Maloney, it sure contributed to it on two exciting occasions. The first one came on June 14, 1965, and there is sort of an asterisk next to it now. In a game with the Mets, Maloney struck out 18 and walked only one, while keeping New York without a hit for 10 innings. Unfortunately for him, he allowed a home run in the 11th, and while at the time the game was recognized as a no-hitter since he had completed nine hitless innings, the rules have since been changed. Luckily for him, just a couple of months later he did the same thing to the Chicago Cubs in another extra-inning game. In 10 innings Maloney kept the Cubs without a single hit, and his team would ultimately win the game 1-0.
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Righty Don Wilson pitched for the Astros during parts of the 60s and 70s and was quietly one of the better pitchers in the National League. Something he did during his first full season at the big league level made it a little difficult for him to totally fly under the radar though. On June 18th, 1967 in a game against the Braves, Wilson held the opposition hitless in a 2-0 Houston win at the Astrodome, and the following day people all over the country learned who he was from reading the morning paper. Two seasons later he tossed his 2nd no-no, this time against Cincinnati at Crosley Field.
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The Montreal Expos franchise was born in 1969 but only nine games into their existence they flew into the record books thanks to a masterful performance by righty Bill Stoneman. Pitching at Connie Mack Stadium, Stoneman held the Philadelphia Phillies hitless in a 7-0 Montreal victory, easily making the Expos the quickest organization to ever get their first no-no–a record that will almost certainly never be broken. A few years later, in his last start of 1972, the veteran would catapult his name to a much more exclusive list by throwing his second no-hitter. This one came against the Mets in a game that admittedly had flaws as he walked seven men, but hey, a no-hitter is a no-hitter right?
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Left-hander Ken Holtzman’s best days came as a member of the Chicago Cubs, but he’s perhaps best known for being part of the Oakland Athletics dynasty in the seventies. While early in his career Holtzman was an important part of Chicago’s pitching staff, his personal best day to date surely came on August 19th of 1969, when in a 3-0 Cubs win he held the Atlanta Braves hitless. The game and accomplishment are particularly fascinating due to the fact that Holtzman failed to record a single strikeout in the effort. Two seasons later in a game at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati Holtzman earned his second no-hitter in a 1-0 victory over the Reds. This time he punched out six.
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Righty Steve Busby spent his entire career with the Royals, and while his career did not have much longevity it was sure interesting. As a rookie in 1973, he fired the first no-hitter in Kansas City franchise history, holding Detroit hitless in a 3-0 win at Tiger Stadium. The following year he did the same thing to the Brewers, walking only one and striking out three in a 2-0 Royals win. Despite throwing two no-no’s, Busby is perhaps best known for being the first pitcher to ever undergo rotator cuff surgery after doctors diagnosed him with a torn rotator cuff late in 1976. He had the procedure and missed all of ’77 and most of ’78. While he did return to regular action in 1979 it is difficult to truly call the surgery a success as he was out of baseball after just 33 more appearances.
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Bob Forsch spent the majority of his career with St. Louis, and while he often had uneven results, the right-hander did throw two no-no’s for the Redbirds despite never earning a trip to the all-star game. His first vault into the record books came on April 16, 1978, against the Phillies, but there is some controversy with this game. A questionable scoring decision by official scorer Neal Russo called a presumptive single instead of an error on third baseman Ken Reitz. When the Phillies failed to record a single hit for the rest of the game the decision certainly brought about scrutiny. Five years later Forsch threw his second no-hitter, this time against the Montreal Expos. Ironically, his brother Ken Forsch has also authored a no-hitter in the Major Leagues.
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Hard-throwing southpaw Randy Johnson was a transcendent talent and a one-of-a-kind dominant force in his era. The man nicknamed “The Big Unit” was a ten-time all-star, five-time Cy Young winner, four-time ERA champ, a 2001 World Series winner, and even captured a World Series MVP award for his work in that Fall Classic. He’s also one of only five pitchers to throw no-hitters in both leagues. His first came as a member of the Mariners on June 2nd, 1990 in a game against Detroit. Despite walking six Tigers, Johnson held them without a hit and was able to celebrate afterward. His record-setting performance 14 years later was much crisper. At 40-years-old Johnson fired a perfect game against the Atlanta Braves striking out 13 in the process.
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Hideo Nomo pitched for seven different Major League teams after coming over from Japan, and while he was only an all-star one time, he sure left his mark on our game. Nomo arrived with a bang for the Dodgers in 1995, going 13-6 with a 2.54 ERA en route to winning NL Rookie of the Year. The following season he was not quite that good, but on one night at Coors Field in Colorado, he was quite literally unhittable. In a 9-0 LA win Nomo walked four Rockies while striking out eight, in what is still the only no-no ever thrown in Denver. In 2001 in his only season as a member of the Red Sox, Nomo earned his second no-hitter in Baltimore, when he walked three Orioles but held them without a hit in a 3-0 Boston win.
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Lefty Mark Buehrle was a staple in the White Sox rotation for over a decade at the turn of the last century, and while he was never really considered a true ace, for a long time he was one of the best southpaws on the junior circuit. Buehrle earned more recognition nationally after throwing the first of his two no-hitters on April 18, 2007. In that game the veteran allowed only one Texas Ranger to reach base via a walk. Two seasons later in July of ’09 Buehrle one-upped himself. Pitching at home at US Cellular Field, he authored a dominant perfect game performance against Tampa Bay. That game is particularly memorable due to an insane perfecto-preserving catch by center fielder Dewayne Wise in the 9th inning, robbing future Phillies manager Gabe Kapler of a home run.
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The late Roy Halladay had a phenomenal big league career, first north of the border with the Toronto Blue Jays, and later in Philadelphia with the Phillies. The right-hander was a member of eight all-star teams, won a Cy Young award in both leagues, and in 2010, in particular, accomplished some seemingly unfathomable things. That May he threw what at the time was the 20th perfect game in Major League history against the Florida Marlins, striking out 11 in the effort. Halladay would finish that regular season with 21 wins and a 2.44 ERA with a league-leading nine complete games and four shutouts. In Game 1 of the Phillies’ opening playoff series, he cemented his place as the unanimous NL Cy Young choice by no-hitting the Cincinnati Reds.
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Homer Bailey has had a little bit of an uneven big league career, sporting a losing career record and a lifetime ERA of 4.56. But when he’s been good, he’s been really really good. Take September 28, 2012, for example. In a home game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Bailey completely dominated the Pirates, allowing only one walk and one runner to reach on an error. The Reds won the game 1-0 meaning every pitch came with no margin for error. The following July he accomplished the impressive feat of throwing the last two no-no’s in the sport when he held the Giants hitless again in Cincinnati. After the game he issued the amusing quote:
“Every dog gets his day twice, I guess.”
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Righty Tim Lincecum’s peak was unfortunately short-lived, but at the height of his dominance, he was as good as any pitcher in baseball. In just a few years’ span, Lincecum made four all-star teams, won back-to-back Cy Young awards, and helped the San Francisco Giants earn three World Series rings. And tossed two no-nos against the division-rival Padres. The first came on July 13, 2013, at Petco Park in an effort that was dominant but not efficient. He walked four in the game but more importantly required 148 pitches to get through it. Roughly eleven months later he was a little better. Lincecum allowed just a second-inning walk to San Diego’s Chase Headley on the way to a 4-0 Giants win.
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For a lot of fans, Mike Fiers name is recognizable mostly for being the whistleblower on the Astros cheating scandal. But he’s had some pretty incredible personal moments during his career. The right-hander had just joined the Astros in 2015, but he quickly endeared himself to his new teammates and fans in just his 4th start. Pitching against the Dodgers, Fiers walked three and struck out 10 while holding Los Angeles’ high-powered offense hitless. It was the 11th no-hitter in Astros franchise history. Four years later while pitching for Oakland, Fiers accomplished the feat again, this time against the Reds in a game that was memorable for more reasons than just Cincinnati’s lack of hits. For starters, the game was delayed for almost two hours due to lightning, and on multiple occasions, Oakland players made fantastic defensive plays to preserve the no-no.
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Right-hander Max Scherzer is easily on the shortlist of best pitchers of his generation. The Nationals’ ace has made seven all-star teams, won three Cy Young awards, and in ’19 helped Washington win their first World Series title. In 2015 though, he was particularly dominant, throwing two no-hitters in a matter of months. The first came in June against the Pirates, in a game that’s ending still must eat at him. Scherzer was one out away from a perfect game when he hit Pittsburgh’s Jose Tabata with a pitch. Though Tabata at best made no effort to elude the offering, and at worst leaned his way into it. A couple of months later on the last weekend of the regular season, Scherzer was simply unreal against the Mets at Citi Field. He didn’t issue a walk and struck out an eye-opening 17 New York hitters, and an error is the only thing that cost him a perfect game this time.
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Jake Arrieta’s career resurgence in Chicago was fun to watch, particularly after he had struggled so mightily in Baltimore. With the Cubs, the right-hander turned himself into simply one of the best hurlers in the sport, and his Cy Young award and two no-hitters are proof of just how good he really was. Arrieta’s first no-hitter came on August 30, 2015, against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. In that game, he issued only one walk while striking out 12 LA hitters on his way to his 17th victory on the season. The following season the veteran no-hit the Reds in Cincinnati in a game the Cubs cruised to a 16-0 win.
Justin Mears is a freelance sports writer from Long Beach Island, NJ. Enjoys being frustrated by the Mets and Cowboys, reading Linwood Barclay novels, and being yelled at by his toddler son. Follow him on twitter @justinwmears.
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