By CHUCKIE MAGGIO
Jackie Collum and his Red Wings teammates kicked the Lansdowne Park infield dirt in disgust, resigning themselves to the belief that history had eluded them on Sept. 5, 1952.
Collum retired 25 of his first 26 batters, walking just one, before right fielder Larry Ciaffone couldn’t complete a shoestring catch on Athletics pinch-hitter Bill Hockenbury’s blooper. Ciaffone watched the ball roll out of his glove, into short right, putting Hockenbury on first with one out in the ninth inning.
Just when the Red Wings thought the no-no was no more, the game’s official scorer made an “E9” ruling. Ottawa’s bench reacted disapprovingly, as did some of the spectators, but writers covering the contest concurred with the scorer.
Commotion behind him, Collum retired the last two batters to become the fourth International League pitcher to achieve a no-hitter in the 1952 season. Rochester routed Ottawa 9-0.
The 5-foot-7 lefty was supported by dazzling fielding, including Rip Repulski’s back-handed catch in left field and Steve Bilko and Ray Jablonski snaring line drives at their respective infield corners.
The Wings lineup did its part as well, including Collum’s RBI single and run scored. Repulski drove in two, as did Ciaffone. Rochester stranded 13 runners on base, so the final score had potential to be uglier.
Collum had a respectable MLB career, collecting a 32-28 record in 171 appearances over nine seasons, all but 37 in relief. His major league debut, which occurred a year before the no-hitter, was the closest he got to a no-no on the highest level. On Sept. 21, 1951, he pitched a complete game two-hitter against Chicago, called up after leading Rochester in wins (15).
Collum, a Victor, Iowa native, was inducted into the Iowa Baseball Hall of Fame after retiring from baseball.
Red Wings 9, Athletics 0
|Walker cf||5||1||1||1||Gentry lf||4||0||0||0|
|Lammers ss||4||0||2||0||Conway ss||4||0||0||0|
|Repulski lf||6||1||3||2||Jok 3b||3||0||0||0|
|Bilko 1b||3||2||0||0||Limmer 1b||3||0||0||0|
|Kress 1b||1||0||0||0||Watlington c||2||0||0||0|
|Jablonski 3b||5||2||2||1||Kirk rf||3||0||0||0|
|Ciaffone rf||3||0||1||2||Moscovich 2b||3||0||0||0|
|Ortiz 2b||4||1||1||0||George p||2||0||0||0|
|Riggan c||2||0||0||0||Gohl p||0||0||0||0|
|Bucha c||1||1||0||1||Hockenbury ph||1||0||0||0|
Rochester 000 030 042- 9
Ottawa 000 000 00x- 0
E- Limmer, Conway 3, Ciaffone; LOB- Rochester 13, Ottawa 2.
Time- 2:00; Attendance- 2,144.