This was an auto-played game, so I didn’t get to see it unfold or live the magic as it happened. This is the second no-hitter in the thousands upon thousands of Strat-O-Matic baseball games I’ve played. The first, by 1985 Dwight Gooden, was also an auto-played game.
Who doesn’t love a no-hitter? I had the extraordinary opportunity to see one in person this year, and I’ll never forget it.
But the auto-played no-hitter is a sweet-and-sour event.
Larry Jansen never threw a no-hitter in his real-life Major League career, and despite averaging over 270 innings a year in his first five seasons, winning 23 in 1951, and making two All-Star Game rosters, he will forever be known for little more than notching the W on the last day of the 1951 season. That was, of course, the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” game. It’s an honor and distinction, to be sure, but certainly not the legacy Jansen would have preferred to carve when he made it to the bigs in 1947.
Other dubious distinctions of Larry Jansen: Mickey Mantle’s first World Series hit came off Jansen, when the Mick bunted for a single in Game 2 of the 1951 World Series. Joe DiMaggio’s double off Jansen in the eighth inning of Game 6 was the final at-bat of the Hall of Famer’s Major League career.
In his no-hitter, Jansen walked the first batter of the game and allowed another walk with two-out in the second inning. After that he retired twenty-two straight to earn a display case in my personal Hall of Fame.
Here is the boxscore from Jansen’s Strat-O-No-No:
PS: I enjoyed this article on the beat-up 1952 Topps Larry Jansen card pictured above.