42 year anniversary of Padres no-no debacle

42 years ago today, the Padres could have exited the no-no club early in the franchise’s history. On July 21, 1970, the Mets were beating the Padres 1-0, but Padres starter Clay Kirby still had a no-hitter going through eight innings. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth, San Diego skipper Preston Gomez decided to pull Kirby for a pinch hitter, Cito Gaston. Gaston struck out, reliever Jack Baldschun gave up a ninth-inning lead-off single to Bud Harrelson and the Mets rallied to pad their lead to 3-0, which would be the final score.

Would Kirby have reached base and started a rally that would have given them a 2-1 lead and an eventual no-no win? Would Kirby have struck out, yet kept the no-hitter alive through the top of the ninth to set up a ninth-inning Padres walk-off victory? We’ll never know, and the club still doesn’t have no no-no.

And the Padres have one more dubious distinction than the Mets. They’re the only Major League franchise without a no-hitter AND without a player hitting for the cycle. The Mets have hit 10 hits-for-cycle in their 50-year history and one no-hitter.

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