For a look back at San Francisco Giants history this week, I take you to 1975, the year the Cincinnati Reds beat the Boston Red Sox in a series that would be remembered for an error in game six, that gave the Reds the opportunity to win in seven. That same year Fred Lynn of the Red Sox, became the first rookie to also win MVP, and Ed Halicki of the San Francisco Giants, threw a no-hitter against the New York Mets on August 24th.
Halicki threw the last home no-hitter by a Giants pitcher until Jonathan Sanchez’ no-no on July 10th, 2010. Halicki spent his six-year major league career with the Giants, except for the final portion of his last season, during which he joined the then-California Angels. He posted a 55-66 win-loss record, with a 3.62 ERA. His no-hitter was one error and one walk away from perfection, the error coming before the walk.
The starting lineup for the Giants featured Derrel Thomas (2B), Dave Radar (C), Gary Thomasson (CF), Gary Matthews (LF), Willie Montanez (1B), Chris Speier (SS), Steve Ontiveros (RF), and Bruce Miller (3B). The Mets’ lineup included Del Unser (CF), Rusty Staub (RF), Dave Kingman (1B) and starting pitcher Craig Swan.
Halicki took a perfect game into the fifth, but with one out, Derrel Thomas committed an error that broke up the perfecto. In an interesting footnote to his transgression, in an effort to atone for the error, Thomas stole home in the bottom of the same inning, on a double steal in which catcher Doug Radar stole second. Players stealing home? Catchers stealing bases? You don’t see either much these days. The last time a Giant stole home was Aaron Rowand’s theft on May 27th 2009, against the Atlanta Braves.
With Matt Cain’s perfect game and Tim Lincecum tossing two no-hitters in the past two seasons, the feat may seem almost common now, but Ed Halicki’s accomplishment keeps his name constantly in the mix with the greats, and that is how it should be.