Rik Aalbert Says "No!"
Chicago White Sox
by "Bleacher Bum"
All Time League correspondent
All Time League Press
Chicago (ATLP) - The pomp and
spectacle of yesterday's Opening Day ceremonies had faded from memory
the time the players took the field today. The hometown Chisox had
dropped a heartbreaker of a game to the visiting Athletics that
day. Carl Yastrzemski, or Yaz, as the Philly faithful have
labeled him, had doubled down the third base line in the 8th, scoring
two teammates and ruining a sparkling performance by Tom Seaver. Pedro
Martinez took the W that day with a gem of his own.
now it's back to baseball. Today would again pit two extraordinary
pitchers against each other with the wind blowing out to center field
with a vengeance. Bob "Hoot" Gibson for the Philadelphia club and Bert
Blyleven for the Chicago nine. And Hoot was certainly on his game this
day. The menacing hurler allowed but seven hits and struck out 10 Pale
Hose swingers, the first ATL pitcher to reach that plateau. However,
the day did not belong to Gibby. No, this day will forever be known as
the day Rik Aalbert "Bert" Blyleven, the pride of Zeist, Holland, made
his mark on the ATL. Bert Blyleven, that master of the curve, that
trickster of the pitcher's box, was not to be beaten this day. Leading
off the second inning of a scoreless game, Philly's Marvelous Melvin
Ott strode to the plate, and then strolled to first after accepting a 5
pitch free pass from the Chicago twirler. That was it for the game,
faithful readers. Not another Athletic was destined to touch a base
safely this day. Yes, discerning reader, you have that right. Bert Blyleven had become the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter in the DMBATL.
Bert eased through the lineup with what seemed like relative ease, and
even yesterday's hero, the man they call Yaz, could not save this day
for the Athletics. Yaz did his level best, though. He pinch hit for
Hoot in the final frame and lined a shot down the third base line. But
on this day, Dick 'Crash' Allen, the Chisox' sullen slugger, was there
to spear the smash and throw a bb to big Hank Greenburg at first,
leaving Yaz with nothing but a oh-fer one for today's resume. And
leaving the Philly gang one out away from becoming the first team to be
no hit. Then Craig Biggio strode to the dish, and on a 3-2 count the
feisty second sacker grounded one to his counterpart on the Sox,
whereupon Nellie Fox calmly tossed him out. Bert had the win, the
shutout, the no-hitter, and a piece of history!