Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Score celebrates no scoring

GCRL recognized the 19th anniversary of Dodger pitcher Kevin Gross' no-hitter today. It occurred during the height of no-hitter craziness in the early 1990s, when the Dodgers -- and everyone else -- were tossing no-nos.

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).


  1. Awesome stuff from the early 90s! Do you have any dupes of the Fernando for trade? That card is a winner.

  2. that is a nice subset. i'll have to get in line for a copy of that nando card.

  3. Dave Stewart is a bad ass. He once basically called Clemens a pussy in the NYT.

    Bad. Ass.

  4. agreed on the box score points - anytime I see a boxscore card in a dime box, it goes into the phungo collection.

  5. If you or anyone else wants it, I have a complete set of 1991 Score up for trade. Not going to ask for a lot in return either!