A Giant no-no
The timing of the Jonathan Sanchez no-hitter in San Francisco on Friday brings to mind two memorable events invloving the Dodgers and Giants during a 10-day span in 1980. On June 27, Jerry Reuss pitched the only no-hitter of his career against the Giants during an 8-0 victory at Candlestick Park. Like Sanchez, Reuss retired 27 of 28 batters and the only runner to reach safely was because of an infielder’s error. Reuss became the first Dodger left-hander since Sandy Koufax to pitch a no-hitter, and ironically Koufax was in uniform for the game as a visiting minor league instructor and he joined the Dodger team around the pitcher’s mound in the postgame celebration.
The other memory occurred at Dodger Stadium on July 6, the final game in 1980 before the All-Star break. Future Hall of Famer Willie McCovey earlier had announced he was going to retire at midseason, so the Dodgers staged a special pregame ceremony in his honor. It was not unusual for the rival teams to participate in such ceremonies. When Don Drysdale retired in 1969, a day was planned for the Giants’ next visit to Los Angeles. Willie Mays offered a large box and everyone laughed inside when Drysdale pulled out a small bottle of Vaseline. For McCovey’s day, Dodger pitcher Don Sutton spoke on behalf of his teammates and McCovey received gifts from other community organizations. In his final at-bat as a pinch-hitter, McCovey received a standing ovation after he delivered a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to give the Giants a 5-4 lead.
– Mark Langill