If you were one of the 12, 792 crammed into HoHoKam Stadium or one of those who was able to watch today’s Cubs game on WGN, you saw a rarity in spring training, a real pitcher’s duel. In fact, the Cubs pitchers no hit the Athletics through 9 and 2/3rds innings, until the A’s Dan Johnson broke it up with a single to centerfield, the Cubs won the game 1-0 in 10 innings. The last time the Cubs had a no hitter during spring training was 1970, according to baseball historian Ed Hartig.
Cubs starter Sean Marshall and Angel Guzman each pitched 4 hitless innings.
75 degrees at first pitch, as it should be. I had a real treat this morning, being able to interview and talk with legendary Baseball Ambassador Buck O’Neil for our upcoming Cubs documentary. O’Neil who is 95 years young (literally ran to the mound during the pre-game ceremony today), was considered one of the best players and managers in the Negro Leagues managed the Kansas City Monarchs to 6 Negro League Championships, winning two. O’Neil also was a long-time scout for the Cubs, and became Major League Baseball’s first African American coach with the Cubs in 1962. His list of accomplishments is too long to write about here, so google him if you want to find out more. One of the interesting things he said today was that when Ernie Banks was a young player he was very quiet, and he described how he helped Ernie break out of his shell, which he hasn’t returned to since.