30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Two Hour Post

A few weeks ago, David Schoenfield updated a previous article he had written about the best regular season pitching performances for all thirty MLB teams.  He picked Bobby Witt's one-hitter against the Kansas City Royals back on June 23rd, 1994 to represent the Oakland Athletics.  He also mentioned Sean Manaea's 2018 no-hitter, which led me to researching all of the no-hitters in Oakland Athletics history.

For the baseball trivia enthusiasts... there have been thirteen in franchise history... eight of which took place during their tenure in Oakland.  The autograph collector in me decided start a new project and collect one certified pack pulled or slab certified autograph of every pitcher to pitch a complete game no-hitter for the Oakland Athletics.

As of today, there are sevenCatfish Hunter, Vida Blue, Mike Warren, Dave Stewart, Dallas Braden, Sean Manaea, and Mike Fiers.

Here's what I have so far... along with some facts about each game.

By the way, kudos to all of you who go the extra length and do research for your posts.  Normally the amount of research I do is limited to a few minutes or so, but I invested over two hours writing this postEnjoy.

1st No-HitterCatfish Hunter  (May 8th, 1968)

1995 Jimmy Dean Autographs #NNO

  • vs. Minnesota Twins at the Oakland Coliseum
  • First perfect game in franchise history.
  • Jim Pagliaroni was Hunter's catcher.
  • This was the 2nd MLB no-hitter Pagliaroni caught.
  • Catfish went 3 for 4 at the place and drove in 3 of the team's 4 runs.
  • Faced two future hall of famers Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew.
  • Struck out 11 batters including Killebrew three times.

About the Autograph:  This is one of three Catfish Hunter autographs that I own.  Unfortunately he passed away back in 1999, so the number of certified pack pulled autographs is limited.  This particular one was part of a mail-in offer that involved sending in two proof-of-purchases and $7.

2nd No-HitterVida Blue (September 21st, 1970)

1999 Fleer SI Greats of the Game Autograph #NNO

  • vs. Minnesota Twins at the Oakland Coliseum
  • Entering the game, the Twins were in first place in the AL West.
  • The A's were in second place, 7.5 games behind the Twins.
  • This was Blue's eighth career start.
  • He was only twenty-one years old.
  • Gene Tenace was Blue's catcher.
  • Pitched a one-hit shutout eleven days earlier.
  • Faced only 27 batters.
  • Harmon Killebrew was the only Twins baserunner.
  • Killebrew was also the only future hall of famer Blue faced.
  • Struck out 9 batters including Killebrew twice.
  • Pitched a combined no-hitter five years later.

About the Autograph Vida Blue's autographs are plentiful and affordable.  I picked up this autograph back in 2010 for $6 off of eBay, but I've seen these for half the price at local card shows.

4th No-HitterMike Warren (September 29th, 1983)

  • vs. Chicago White Sox at the Oakland Coliseum
  • Entering the game the White Sox were in first place in the AL West.
  • This was Warren's ninth career start.
  • He was twenty-two years old.
  • Mike Heath was Warren's catcher.
  • Warren only won four more MLB games after this no-hitter.
  • Rickey Henderson scored the 1st run of the game.
  • Faced two future hall of famersCarlton Fisk and Harold Baines.
  • Struck out 5 batters including Fisk twice.

About the AutographWarren doesn't have any certified pack pulled autographs available.  Heck, according to Beckett, he only has 22 different trading cards.  I'm hoping to one day pick up a PSA slabbed autograph of one of his 1984 rookie cards.

5th No-HitterDave Stewart (June 29th, 1990)

2003 UD Sweet Spot Classic Greats Signature #CG-DST

  • vs. Toronto Blue Jays at the SkyDome
  • Entering this game the Blue Jays were in second place in the AL East.
  • The A's were in first place in the AL West and had the AL's best record.
  • Struck out 12 batters and walked 3.
  • Walked the first two batters of the game.
  • Terry Steinbach was Stew's catcher.
  • This was the first of two no-hitters caught for Steinbach.
  • The Hendersons (Dave and Rickey) each hit a home run to support Stewart.
  • Stew had lost four of his previous five starts and had given up 20 earned runs.

About the Autograph:  I've enjoyed picking up affordable UD Sweet Spot Signatures ever since I returned to the hobby back in the late 2000's.  They often get a bad rep due to fading signatures, but as you can see... not all of them fade.

6th No-HitterDallas Braden (May 9th, 2010)

2007 Upper Deck Future Stars #164

  • vs. Tampa Bay Rays at the Oakland Coliseum
  • The Rays entered this game with the best record in baseball.
  • The Rays had rocked Braden two weeks earlier (8 hits, 3 walks, 6 earned runs in 4 innings)
  • The A's were one game over .500 and second in the AL West.
  • 2nd perfect game in franchise history.
  • Struck out 6 batters.
  • Landon Powell was Braden's catcher.
  • Occurred on Mother's Day with his grandmother in attendance.
  • Braden's grandmother took care of him after his mother passed away.

About the Autograph:  I've made it very clear that I'm not a fan of sticker-graphs.  But sometimes you have to take what you can get.  I don't think I've ever seen an on-card, pack pulled signature of his.

7th No-HitterSean Manaea (April 21st, 2018)

2019 Topps Clearly Authentic Black Autographs #CAA-SM

  • vs. Boston Red Sox at the Oakland Coliseum
  • The Red Sox entered the game with the best record in baseball (17-2).
  • Entering this game the Red Sox averaged 6+ runs and 10+ hits per game.
  • The Red Sox had collected 10+ hits seven games in a row prior to this game.
  • The A's were 9-11 and fourth in the AL West.
  • Manaea entered the game with a 2-2 record with an amazing 1.23 earned run average.
  • Struck out 10 battersChris Sale did too.
  • Marcus Semien scored all 3 runs for the A's and hit a home run.
  • Jonathan Lucroy was Manaea's catcher.
  • Today is the 2 year anniversary of Manaea's no-hitter.

About the Autograph:  This is the most recent addition to this project.  The day I read Schoenfield's article, I went to eBay and found this card.  The seller accepted my $6 offerManaea struggled during Spring Training, but I'm looking forward to seeing him take his place on the mound when the season starts.

8th No-HitterMike Fiers (May 7th, 2019)

  • vs. Cincinnati Reds at the Oakland Coliseum
  • Both teams entered this game in last place in their divisions.
  • Fiers had a 2-3 record with a 6.81 ERA entering this game.
  • He had given up 23 earned runs and lasted only 22 innings during his last five starts.
  • Struck out 6 batters.
  • 2nd no-hitter of his career.
  • Both no-hitters were Interleague games.
  • He has two of the seven Interleague no-hitters in MLB history.
  • Josh Phegley was Fiers' catcher.
  • Jurickson Profar drove in both of the A's runs with a double and a home run.

About the AutographFiers has a Topps Now autograph and at least one Topps Archives buyback signature featuring him in an Athletics jersey.  However... I'm not willing to spend more than $6 or $7 for one.  So the waiting game begins.

Some of you may have noticed that I skipped over the 3rd no-hitter in Oakland A's history.  That one took place on September 28th, 1975Vida Blue, Glenn Abbott, Paul Lindblad, and Rollie Fingers pitched a combined no-hitter against the California Angels on the final day of the regular season.

As of right now, I'm not including this one as part of the project, because I don't think Abbott or Lindblad have any certified pack pulled autographs available.  Maybe one day, I'll look for certified slabbed signatures of these two for my collection, but they aren't a priority.

Well that's it for today.  Happy Tuesday and sayonara!


  1. I like the mini collection idea. My only Catfish auto is him in a sportcoat. I think it was a specific year that was bad for those Sweet Spots. I've seen sellers post them on eBay with 90% faded signatures. Why would anyone buy such a thing?

  2. Cool post!

    I remember watching that Dave Stewart no hitter back in 1990, it was a Jays game so we got the broadcast, I was so excited when he finished it, it was the first no-hitter I ever watched. Another trivia point you can add is that there were actually two no-hitters thrown that day, Fernando Valenzuela also threw one.

    I got two of those guys' autographs in person. One was Stewart, who I got at the Skydome in 1992 when he was playing for the Jays. He was the nicest guy, gave me a personalized autograph on his 1987 Topps card which I still have somewhere.

    I also got Catfish Hunter, in Cooperstown in 1991 on a 1979 Topps card of his. He and Warren Spahn were signing in a card shop and I got both of them at the same time for I think like 5$ each, it was super exciting.

  3. Well I could never do this for the Dodgers, as I'd have to find autograph cards of Nap Rucker and Dazzy Vance and I'm not doing that.

    Just by coincidence I do have most of the LOS ANGELES Dodgers who have thrown no-hitters, including Koufax, Drysdale, Kershaw, etc. I think the only ones I'm missing are Bill Singer and Josh Beckett.

  4. Well, I guess if I decide to do this for the Mets, it won't be all that difficult.

    You do know that Tony Fernández isn't actually in the Hall of Fame, right?

  5. I can not do this for the opposite reason of night owl. No one has ever thrown a no hitter for the Padres. I could do this for the seven pitchers who have thrown no hitters against the Padres.

  6. Cool post! I have a Larsen, Rags, Cone, and Gooden autograph for Yanks.

  7. hackenbush - yeah... i'm thinking it's 2007 sweet spot that has the issue with the fake leather they used. i remember someone telling me they bought one because it was super cheap. can't remember the player, but they paid like $5 for a card that would normally sell for 10x that

    johnnys trading spot - thank you kind sir. don't think i'll be investing this much time in another post for a long, long time

    sean - thanks for the fernando piece of trivia. that's really cool. i don't think i ended up seeing that game, but i remember it. that's really cool that you got to meet catfish (and spahn). never met either of those gentlemen

    night owl - yeah... pretty sure your dodgers are the kings of the no-hitters. that would definitely be a challenge. to make it easier... you could just focus on the los angeles dodgers ;)

    brett alan - hmmm. gooden? seaver? nope. i was wrong. just looked it up... and it's johan santana. and thanks for pointing that out. i think i confused him with roberto alomar... who i don't think was even on the blue jays yet. correction made.

    rod - lol. i was going to mention that... but then i thought that there wasn't any point of bringing negative attention to the padres ;)

    the lost collector - hmmm. i have a larsen, a righetti, an abbott, and a gooden. pretty crazy that allie reynolds (never heard of him) threw 2 no-nos within a 2 and a half month stretch. that's pretty cool

  8. I remember watching that Manaea game against my team. Given the offensive roll the Red Sox were on, it was an impressive pitching performance!

  9. Fantastic project Fuji! Love the Catfish and Blue autos.

  10. At least you team features a no-hitter. From an upcoming column (I'm saving the best part for April 25) - "Until June 1, 2012, the Padres were only one of two MLB teams yet to have a pitcher toss a no-hitter. On that day, Johan Santana, became the first New York Mets pitcher to throw a no-no after more than a half century and 8,020 Mets games."

    I've also retuned to blogging with a new column, entitled "Comatoad on Cards." It can be found at https://comatoadoncards.blogspot.com/

  11. Very cool project and post! I may need to look at my Giants collection and see where I stand. With respect to Warren, I am pretty sure he has a Highlights card from 1984 Topps as well that he shares with a couple other no-hit pitchers. That may be a fun one to add.

  12. Nice mini collection. For the Giants I have Marichal, Perry, and Halicki. Would like to get some of the more recent guys but haven't done so yet.

  13. 7 pitchers....seems like a decent amount. Neat project for sure....

  14. sport card collectors - thanks. it was a lot of work

    matt - yeah... not sure why schoenfield didn't consider this one of the greates pitching performances in a's history

    reds card collector - thanks. definitely invested way more time than usual... but it was a lot of fun learning new stuff about my favorite team

    comatoad - i'm a padres fan too... so i'll be waiting with you. as soon as i'm finished responding to comments, i'll add your blog to my reading list.

    arpsmith - you're right. just looked it up. he's featured with dave righetti and bob forsch. as for giants no-hitters, there's a lot. however it might be fun to do the ones that took place after the move to san francisco. i think i have two of the nine (marichal and perry). i'd love to add a lincecum autograph to my collection one day as well.

    nick vossbrink - i just looked at there list responding to arpsmith. i might need to track down the cain and lincecum. if you go back to the new york days, this project would be pretty darn challenging

    sumomenkoman - i think they're right in the middle of the pack there are teams with way more... and then you have my other favorite team (the padres) with zero ;D

  15. This is a cool project. I have seen three no-hitters in my lifetime, and spent time and money collecting cards of the players involved. Strangely, I have never seen one pitcher make it the whole game in the no-hitters, all combined. The closet was Mike Montgomery went 9 1/3 for the Durham Bulls, but got pulled because the Rays had him on a pitch.