The LA Angels have had nine no-hitters in their history. Every one of them were special, but two of them in particular were very special to Angel fans.
The LA Angels were blessed to have one of the greatest pitchers of all-time on their team in Nolan Ryan. Ryan threw seven no-hitters in his career. In addition Ryan had 324 wins, and 5,714 strikeouts. The seven no-no’s and the 5,714 strikeouts are both major league records that will probably never be broken.
The fourth and final no-hitter Ryan threw with the Angels tied Sandy Koufax for the major league record of four career no-hitters. Nolan Ryan had to be precise on this June afternoon in Anaheim. June 1st, 1975 to be exact. The Angels were playing the Baltimore Orioles and Ryan was on his game from the get go.
Ryan struck out three of the first six hitters he faced with only one walk. In the third inning the Angels scratched out as three singles by Mickey Rivers, Tommy Harper, and Dave Chalk, with Chalk’s single driving in Rivers to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.
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Ryan took it from there retiring the next 10 hitters in a row before walking Bobby Grich with one out in the seventh inning. Lee May then reached first on an error to make it first and second and only one out. Ryan recovered to get Brooks Robinson to ground out and Elroy Hendricks to fly out to end the threat.
From there Ryan dialed in retiring the side in order in both the eighth and ninth inning capping the no-hitter by striking out future teammate Bobby Grich to end the game with his ninth strikeout. Ryan had now tied Sandy Koufax with four no-hitters. He would never throw one again for the Angels, but this was a special night and the 18,492 fans in attendance saw greatness in action.
37 years later a beloved Angel pitcher Jered Weaver, who spent virtually his whole career as an Angel, had a very special night on May 2, 2012 against the Minnesota Twins. Weaver was on his game on this May evening.
Weaver only allowed two base runners throughout the contest. In the second inning Weaver would have struck out the side if not for a passed ball allowed by catcher Chris Iannetta after Weaver had struck out Chris Parmelee. Weaver came back to get Trevor Plouffe to foul out to end the inning.
The Angels gave Weaver plenty of support scoring six runs in the first three innings to take a 6-0 lead. Weaver kept right on rolling, retiring 21 of the final 22 batters he faced. In the 9th inning with the crowd of 27,288 fans on its feet the entire final inning, Weaver retired Jamey Carroll on a fly out to left. Weaver then struck out Denard Span for his ninth strikeout of the game and the second out in the ninth inning.
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The Twins Alexi Casilla was the only player standing between Weaver and history. Weaver induced Casilla to fly out to former Twin Torii Hunter and Weaver put his hands on his head in disbelief at what he had done. The Angels mobbed Weaver and he had the club’s ninth career no-hitter. What a night it was!!!!