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Tigers' Sparma Near No-Hitter

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  • Tigers' Sparma Near No-Hitter

    The most memorable Pilots game for this Detroit Tigers fan was the Saturday afternoon near no-hitter hurled at Sicks Stadium by the late Joe Sparma, he of the fastball that could penetrate the broad side of a barn...if only he could hit the barn!

    I believe the Pilots were still hitless in the ninth inning, though Sparma had walked nine batters! I also believe it was Don Mincher who spoiled the no-hit bid with a hard liner to right.

  • #2
    Sparma

    I think Jim Bouton said in Ball Four that this was their only appearance on a national game of the week.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by JohnGelnarFan
      I think Jim Bouton said in Ball Four that this was their only appearance on a national game of the week.
      I think they played the Yanks on national t.v in which Ray Oyler and Bobby Murcer duked it out at second base after Murcer came in hard on Oyler covering the bag.

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      • #4
        Oyler

        Ray Oyler is a legend. I read that he lived in Seattle and became a salesman after his career was over. He appreciated the fan support and love that he got from Pliots fans. I've got an audio tape vs. the yanks where he hit one into "Oil Can's Corner"!

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        • #5
          I remember watching that game on TV. I had never witnessed a no-hitter on TV or at the stadium (and I never caught one in high school or Legion ball) and I thought Sparma was going to get it. Don Mincher ended that though.
          And if I remember right, the Pilots wound up winning the game.

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          • #6
            Sparma

            I think Bouton said that Sparma was wild in the first and got them out without throwing a strike(Bad baserunning). The Pilots were a fun team.Wer'e certainly lucky that Bouton wrote Ball Four to always keep their memory alive. I was part of two no-hitters in High School and Summer League ball.Unfortunately,on the losing end both times.One was a perfect game!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JohnGelnarFan
              I think Bouton said that Sparma was wild in the first and got them out without throwing a strike(Bad baserunning). The Pilots were a fun team.Wer'e certainly lucky that Bouton wrote Ball Four to always keep their memory alive. I was part of two no-hitters in High School and Summer League ball.Unfortunately,on the losing end both times.One was a perfect game!
              The closest I ever came to it was when Dave Logan (former Cleveland Browns receiver) tossed a 1-hitter against my HS team. The only problem for big Dave was, he walked five and had three HBPs (me twice). And our only hit sailed over the left field fence with two on (one walk - one HBP). Our pitcher gave up nine hits and tossed a shutout.

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              • #8
                1 Hitter

                Great memory! Could he pitch or was he one of those big guys that just threw hard? I'm sure he was a great athlete. Sometimes that's enough in High School. We hear about hitters that were good pitchers in school but not really good enough to take that part of their game to the pros.





                Originally posted by Iron Jaw
                The closest I ever came to it was when Dave Logan (former Cleveland Browns receiver) tossed a 1-hitter against my HS team. The only problem for big Dave was, he walked five and had three HBPs (me twice). And our only hit sailed over the left field fence with two on (one walk - one HBP). Our pitcher gave up nine hits and tossed a shutout.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by JohnGelnarFan
                  Great memory! Could he pitch or was he one of those big guys that just threw hard? I'm sure he was a great athlete. Sometimes that's enough in High School. We hear about hitters that were good pitchers in school but not really good enough to take that part of their game to the pros.
                  He excelled in football, baseball and basketball. Football was his best sport, and of course, he played a ten-year pro career and was pretty good. At the University of Colorado he played football and basketball as a freshman, but found himself having academic troubles and finally dropped basketball.

                  He had great stuff as pitchers go, but he was wild as all get out. He was a decent hitter too. With his stuff, he probably could have played baseball for CU, but they would have had to tame that wild fastball. Some of my teammates were afraid to bat against him. I was a plate crowder who expected to get hit every now and then. I often got hit on the calf and mid thigh. I also had the "intentional hit" duck down pat. The one where you turn around, bend over with head to rear foot, bat to the ground......and take the pitch right on the buttock. The movement made it look like I was trying to avoid getting hit, all the while my feet actually were not moving at all - just a nice pivot.

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                  • #10
                    Hbp

                    Sounds like a great athlete. You must have permanent stitches imbedded in your butt!! Guys like you that "take it for the team" are invaluable!





                    Originally posted by Iron Jaw
                    He excelled in football, baseball and basketball. Football was his best sport, and of course, he played a ten-year pro career and was pretty good. At the University of Colorado he played football and basketball as a freshman, but found himself having academic troubles and finally dropped basketball.

                    He had great stuff as pitchers go, but he was wild as all get out. He was a decent hitter too. With his stuff, he probably could have played baseball for CU, but they would have had to tame that wild fastball. Some of my teammates were afraid to bat against him. I was a plate crowder who expected to get hit every now and then. I often got hit on the calf and mid thigh. I also had the "intentional hit" duck down pat. The one where you turn around, bend over with head to rear foot, bat to the ground......and take the pitch right on the buttock. The movement made it look like I was trying to avoid getting hit, all the while my feet actually were not moving at all - just a nice pivot.

                    Comment

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