Cleveland baseball history: Remembering Dick Bosman’s 1974 no-hitter at Municipal Stadium

17 May 1998: Dick Bosman, #17 of the Texas Rangers in action during a game against the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Rangers 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Zoran Milich /Allsport
17 May 1998: Dick Bosman, #17 of the Texas Rangers in action during a game against the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. The Indians defeated the Rangers 10-3. Mandatory Credit: Zoran Milich /Allsport /
facebooktwitterreddit

With the recent stellar pitching performances of Triston McKenzie, one begins to wonder: Will McKenzie be the next Guardians pitcher to finally throw a no-hitter since Len Barker’s perfect game?

Although it has been 41 years since Barker’s amazing pitching performance, there was almost a perfect game thrown at Municipal Stadium seven years before.

On July 19, 1974, Dick Bosman threw a no-hitter against Oakland, as Cleveland won 4-0. Throwing a no-hitter against the 1974 Oakland A’s certainly was not an easy feat. The A’s had won the World Series in 1972 and 1973 and were in the process of trying to get back to the World Series for the third straight season.

Offensively, the A’s were led by Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, Sal Bando, Bert Campernis, Joe Rudi, and Gene Tenace. Although the A’s had an amazing lineup, only one runner got on base against Bosman.

Bando, a former Warrensville Heights High School baseball star, ended Bosman’s chance at a perfect game when he reached base on a throwing error.

Offensively, Bosman received support from Joe Lis, who hit a two-run home run in the third inning. Cleveland also had RBIs from third baseman Buddy Bell and first baseman Tommy McCraw.

In his July 20, 1974 article, Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter Russell Schneider noted that over the last two innings the fans were screaming on Bosman’s every pitch. After the game, Schneider recounted that Bosman spoke to the crowd over the public address system and asked the fans to keep cheering the team on throughout the season.

Bosman finished the 1974 season with a 7-5 record and a 4.10 ERA. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Oakland A’s were interested in obtaining him. Thus, on May 20, 1975 the A’s traded Johnny Lee Odom to Cleveland for Bosman and Jim Perry.

Subsequently, Bosman helped lead the A’s to the 1975 AL West title as he finished the season with an 11-4 record.

Bosman retired from playing baseball in 1976 and spent many years as a pitching coach for the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and Texas Rangers organizations. Recently, in 2018, Bosman published the book Dick Bosman on Pitching with Ted Leavengood.