In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
Dennis Eckersley a rising star with the Cleveland Indians throws a No-Hitter, blanking the California Angels 1-0 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Eckersley allows just two bases runners (a first-inning walk to Tony Solaita and a strikeout-wild pitch to Bobby Bonds in the eight, while striking out 12. The Indians lone run came on a suicide squeeze by Jim Norris following a Duane Kuiper triple in the first.
Dennis Eckersley was born on October 3, 1954, in Oakland, California. Raised in the Bay Area, Eck was picked by the Cleveland Indians in the third round of the 1972 draft. He made his debut in 1975 and was among the top rookies in the American League posting a record of 13-7 with an ERA of 2.60. In 1976, Dennis Eckersley posted a record of 13-12 with an ERA of 3.43.
Going into a Memorial Day game against the California Angels, Dennis Eckersley was off to a 4-3 start on a subpar Indians team managed by Frank Robinson. The Angels had Frank Tanana on the mound. Tanana came into the game with a record of 8-1 for the Angels managed by Norm Sherry. Eckersley went through the first inning unscathed allowing just a two-out walk to Tony Solaita. In the bottom of the first, the Indians made some noise as light hitting Duane Kuiper laced a triple to center. Jim Norris dropped down a but catching the Angels by surprise, allowing Kuiper to score, as Tanana made a tag on Norris running down the first baseline. Rico Carty followed with a double but was stranded at second. The rest of the way saw both pitchers, settle down as Frank Tanana allowed just three hits the rest of the way, striking out six, pitching eight complete innings. Eckersley meanwhile tied California in knots, striking out 12. In the eighth inning, he even fooled his catcher Ray Fosse who was unable to handle a ball that Bobby Bonds struck out, allowing him to become the Halos second baserunner on a wild pitch. Bonds was quickly erased, as Don Baylor bounced into a 6-4-3 double play. In the ninth inning with his team holding a 1-0 lead, Dennis Eckersley reached the finish line by getting Bobby Grich to strikeout and Willie Aikens to fly out to left, before striking out Gil Flores to complete the No Hitter. The No-Hitter was the 200th in the history of Major League Baseball.
Dennis Eckersley would make the All-Star team for the first time in his career in 1977, finishing 14-13 with a 3.53 ERA. He would be traded before the start of the 1978 season to the Boston Red Sox, and the best season of his career as a starter, winning 20 games.