With nine no-hitters over the last two years, the no-hitter is back, but the Dodgers haven't pitched one since that last no-no binge (that is, until Kershaw does the inevitable). Fortunately, L.A. hasn't been no-hit since the early '90s, too.
All of this brought to mind the series that Score put out in its mammoth set in 1991. I once was intent on completing the whole base set, but now I'm just happy that I have completed my favorite subset from '91 Score. Some of you may consider the Dream Team subset with the shirtless Jose Canseco and Kirby Puckett as your favorite, and I thank you for airing your issues in public.
But, really, there's no doubt the best set is the historic look back on nine no-hitters in the 1990 season:
Score numbered the no-hitter cards in chronological order based on when the no-hitter was thrown. The set goes from 699-707. When I collected the set in '91, I had all the No-Hit Club cards except Langston/Witt, Johnson and Mulholland. I recently picked up the last one, the Langston/Witt card, either in a repack or at a garage sale, I don't remember.
I wrote about this '90 no-hit season before. The best part of all the no-hitters was that Stewart and Valenzuela threw their no-hitters on the same day. I remember it was a Friday and I must have gotten home from work early because school wouldn't have been in session on June 29. The easy season had begun. I remember knowing about the Stewart no-hitter at work. Then I flipped on the radio in my apartment and heard about Valenzuela's no-hitter going on. I listened to it transfixed deep into the night.
Of course, two of the no-hitters commemorated by Score are no longer no-hitters. MLB doesn't recognize no-hitters in which a pitcher did not pitch a full nine innings. Hawkins gave up four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to the White Sox and since Chicago was ahead 4-0, it didn't bat in the ninth. So no no-hitter for Hawkins, although it was celebrated as one at the time.
Perez pitched just six innings of no-hit ball against the Yankees. The game was stopped in the seventh inning because of rain and eventually Perez's no-hit feat was removed.
But '91 Score still insists that there were nine no-hitters in 1990.
And the best part of the cards are the backs:
I can't get enough of boxscores on the back of baseball cards. A boxscore of a no-hitter is fascinating. Maybe not as fascinating as a 23-22 game or a 19-inning game, but definitely interesting.
Anytime a card set recognizes the previous baseball season, whether it be the World Series, postseason, All-Star Game or notable feats, it adds something special to that set. I've felt that way since the old record breaker cards from when I was a kid.
This is how you do a subset, all you card companies (or at least the few that are left).