Chicago Cubs: Ranking Alec Mills’ no-hitter in history

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Alec Mills #30 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 13, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - SEPTEMBER 13: Alec Mills #30 of the Chicago Cubs pitches in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on September 13, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /

Tied with a score of 92, Chicago Cubs pitchers Milt Pappas and Larry Corcoran.

Pappas’ 1972 no-hit performance against the San Diego Padres at Wrigley field is memorable for how close he came to recording a perfect game. To his dying day, Pappas believed he had been robbed of that immortality by the persnickety eye of plate umpire Bruce Froemming.

On Sept. 2 of that season, Pappas set down the first 26 Padres he faced largely without incident. The 27th  batter was pinch hitter Larry Stahl.  The Chicago Cubs led 8-0 at the time, so the game outcome was little in doubt.

Pappas worked Stahl to a 1-2 count, then threw two pitches he thought caught the corner for a potential strike three. Froemming disagreed and called both of them balls as Pappas gestured visibly upset.

His 3-2 pitch also missed outside, giving Stahl a base on balls.

The next batter, Gary Jestadt, lofted an easy pop up behind second that Carmen Fanzone took in for the final out. If ever there was a letdown in a no-hitter, that was it.

Corcoran’s 1884 no-hitter at Chicago’s lake-Front Park was the third of his career. Like Clarkson’s one year later, it came against Providence, a feat made even more impressive by the fact that the Grays were well on their way to winning the National League championship. The White Stockings won 6-0.

He struck out six, and walked just one, making this no-hitter the most impressive of his three.

The Chicago Tribune’s correspondent marveled at Corcoran’s dominance. “As a rule, the hits made by the visitors were easy to handle,” he wrote.

Corcoran and his mound opponent, Charles Sweeney, dueled through six scoreless innings before the White Stockings broke through for three runs in the seventh. Cap Anson, Ned Williamson, and Tommy Burns all delivered two-hit performances, and Fred Pfeffer homered.