10 Greatest 4th of July Pitching Performances Ever

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Baseball and the 4th of July have a natural bond.  What better way to celebrate Our National Independence Day than with Our National Pastime?  Many great baseball moments occurred on July 4th throughout the years. None bigger than Lou Gehrig’s iconic,
Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth speech.  The fact is, that when you do something notable on the 4th of July, people will be talking about for the 100+ years…. as you will see.

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances


Notable Baseball people born on the 4th of July:

    • 2002 World Series Game 6 Winner, Brendan Donnelly.
    • 1979 World Series Winning Manager, Chuck Tanner.
    • Super Utility Man who once played all 9 positions in a single game, Jose Oquendo.
    • Former Blake Street Bomber, Vinnie Castilla.
    • 300 Game Winner and Hall of Famer from the 1880s, Mickey Welch.
    • Owner of 6 World Series Complete Games, George Mullen
    • New York Yankees Owner, George Steinbrenner.


In this post here today, we are going to recognize the 10 Greatest 4th of July Pitching Performances Ever!  Even some of the people listed above made history on their birthdays.


10.  Southpaw HOFer Duel

greatest 4th of july pitching performances

1925 – Yankee Stadium. Herb Pennock of the Yankees battles Lefty Grove of the A’s in a 15 inning pitchers’ duel won by the Yankees, 1-0.  Penncock retires the first 18 batters and the last 21 batters he faces.

9.  Turley’s 1 Hitter

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1959 – In Washington, Bob Turley of the New York Yankees gives up his first, and only hit of the game on a soft fly ball in the 9th Inning.  The Yankees beat the original Washington Senators, 7-0.  The 1958 AL Cy Young Award Winner had a career record of 101-85 and Won 2 World Series with the Yankees.

8. 2 Ancient Heavyweights Square Off

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1905 – Rube Waddell of the Philadelphia A’s beats Cy Young of the Boston Americans, 4-2. The A’s score two runs in the 20th inning. Both of the future Hall of Fame hurlers go the distance in the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds marathon.  Cy Young is a household name with his 511 Wins and the most prestigious pitching prize named after him.  Rube Waddell, one of baseball’s all time characters, holds a 193-142 career record with an ERA of 2.16.   He once struck out 349 hitters in a season.


7. No Bullpen Necessary

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1881 – As we already mentioned his birthday today, Mickey Welch throws two complete game victories for the Troy Trojans.  The doubleheader sweep of the Buffalo Bisons at the Riverside Grounds, 8-3 and 12-0.  That will drastically lower the ERA. This Upstate New York rivalry was short lived as both teams National League teams became defunct with in the next 4 years.  Welch finished the rest of his Hall of Fame Career with the New York Giants, who took the place of the Trojans.

6. Tom Terrific Does it Again

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1972 – In front of the home crowd in Shea Stadium, the former USC Trojan, for the 2nd time in his career, Tom Seaver takes a No Hitter into the 9th.  A 1-out single up the middle by Leron Lee, followed by a game ending double play, gives Seaver his 4th Career 1 Hitter.  The 3x Cy Young Winner eventually did throw a No Hitter in 1978.


5. Lefty Locked in As Always

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1979 – Steve Carlton squanders a 1 out 2B in the 7th inning vs the New York Mets for his 9th win of the year.  Carlton went the distance striking out 9 and walking none in the 1:51 masterpiece.  The Pitching Zen Master, and godfather of the Slider also threw a 1 Hitter vs the Astros, 1 month prior o this start.  Lefty also shutout the Mets again a few years later on Independence Day, only hours after our #1 Greatest 4th of July pitching Performances.

Greatest 4th of July Pitching Performances
4. A 2nd Bid for Perfection

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1989 – Cincinnati Red’s left-hander, Tom Browning loses his Perfect Game when he gives up a leadoff 2B in the 9th inning.  Browning went 8.1 IP and hung on to beat the Phillies 2-1.  I know.  I was there.  As a wide eyed 9 year old taking in the game with my father.  Even despite the flat tire we got from broken glass in our parking spot when arrived.  Browning’s 1st Perfect Game came a mere 10 months before on September 16, 1988, when he shut down the eventual World Champion LA Dodgers.


3. Another Birthday Spectacular

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1912 – Detroit Tigers pitcher, George Mullins throws a No Hitter vs the St. Louis Browns on his 32nd Birthday.  Mullins had a career record of 228-196 with a 2.82 ERA.  He threw 6 Word Series Complete Games as he lead the Tigers, along with Ty Cobb to winning the AL Pennant 3 straight seasons (1907-09).


2. Lose the Perfecto in the 9th, Win with a No-No in the 10th

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1908 – New York Giants, pitcher George Wiltse loses his perfect game bid on an 0-2 count with 2 outs when he hits the opposing pitcher, George McQuillan with a pitch. Wiltse keeps his no-hitter intact when the Giants win 1-0 at the Polo Grounds in the 10th inning, by way of a Philadelphia Phillies error. Wiltse’s 12 year career possessed a 139-90 record with a 2.47 ERA.  The two time 20 game winner pitched in the 1911 World Series with the New York Giants.

1. Rags to Riches

greatest 4th of July Pitching performances

1983 – Dave Righetti of the Yankees No Hits the rival Boston Red Sox 4-0.  The later turned All Star closer, who was taught the Slider in the Yankees line of LHP, Righetti strikeout 9 Red Sox in a line up that included Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and Jim Rice.  This was the first Yankees No Hitter since Don Larsen threw his Perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

Do you think that we missed any of the Greatest 4th of July Pitching Performances?  Leave us a comment below.
We want to know who you feel should have made the list.


Keep Dominating!!!


About the Author

Brad Kirsch Slider DominationBrad Kirsch is the Owner/Creator of Slider Domination. He is a former professional pitcher who blogs about all things Pitching. Brad has also authored the AudioBook, 7 Reasons Why YOU Should Throw a Slider. If you haven’t done so already, you can Download the AudioBook Here



Greatest 4th of July Pitching Performances

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