Earl Wilson homers to win his own no-hitter

ON THIS DATE (June 26, 1962) ... Earl Wilson, the question mark pitcher of the Boston Red Sox, pitched a no-hitter before a stunned crowd of 14,002 at Fenway Park tonight. The 26-year-old right-hander, who had only won nine games in his big league career, held the Los Angeles Angels hitless and triumphed, 2 to 0.

Only four Angels batters reached base, all on base on balls. Wilson became the first black player to pitch a no-hit game in the American League. By coincidence, Wilson was pitching against Bo Belinsky, who until last night, was the only man to pitch a no-hitter in the American League for the last four years. Belinsky pitched a great game himself, yielding only one and that was a home run that decided the game, by Wilson himself.

Wilson came up to the Red Sox in October 1959 and has pitched only two complete games. Until tonight he had failed to go to distance a single time this year. He has more speed and stuff than any Red Sox pitcher, but was wild and usually faded two thirds of the way through the games hes pitched.  Tonight he didn't fade at all, but simply got better.

He walked four men, one in the second, two in the fifth, and one in the sixth and he had enough control and exceptional speed. He also showed that he could mix his pitches.   The no-hitter was aided by great fielding plays by third baseman Frank Malzone and shortstop Eddie Bressoud.  Malzone fell into the Angels dugout catching a foul pop fly from Joe Koppe in the third inning.

Wilson was equal to the occasion and firing bullets. He had two strikes on Billy Moran, the ninth-inning lead off man, who entered the game as attempt leading hitter in the American League. Moran then hit a ball that looked as if would drop in for a Texas leaguer in short left, but Bressoud raced out a bit toward the foul line and caught it for out number one. Next up came Leon Wagner, a left-handed hitter and leading the league in home runs. On a 1-0 pitch, Wagner blew out to Gary Geiger in medium center for out number two. There was one man left in cleanup hitter Lee Thomas. Two strikes from a no-hit game and Wilson threw a high fastball for ball one. The next pitch was a bullet on the inside corner of the strike zone and umpire Harry Schwartz singled strike two.

Thomas tipped off the next pitch as it sailed over the shoulder catcher Bob Tillman to the screen. Then on what proved to be the final pitch of the game, Thomas hit a fly ball to center. Gary Geiger, who always plays deep, moved to the edge of the grass just inside the warning path, and caught it for the final out.

Wilson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Mel Parnell did it in 1956.

 

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LOS ANGELES ANGELS

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BOSTON RED SOX

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W-Earl Wilson (6-2)
L-Bo Belinsky (7-3)
Attendance - 14,002

 HR-Wilson (Bost)