Great Baseball Moments- The Pirates John Candelaria no hits the Dodgers- August 9, 1976. In the history of the Pittsburgh Pirates until August 9, 1976 Pirates pitchers had pitched four no-hitters but they had all been on the road. In fact during the entire history of Forbes Field 1909- 1970 there was never a no-hitter for either team.

I was at this game- the church which my mother attended faithfully every Sunday and which I would attend on occasion had chartered a bus for the game and well- I was all on board for that trip. We had tickets at Three Rivers Stadium in the Loge Boxes- directly behind home plate- second level. Perfect seats. An added bonus was the game was being televised that night on Monday Night Baseball all around America. I’ve always kept score at games and after the 5th inning I took notice that The Candyman- John Candelaria was working on a no-hitter. So now every pitch counted as he went through the Dodgers order. The Pirates were winning the ballgame 2-0 with both runs coming in the bottom of the 5th inning on a Bill Robinson double. The bottom of the 9th inning- Dodger Davey Lopes who usually was at second base was playing center field on this night- grounded to Franklin Fabian Tavarez at shortstop. One out. Second baseman Ted Sizemore flied out to The Cobra Dave Parker in right. One out to go and Dodger shortstop Bill Russell at bat. When the ball went off the bat at first my heart sunk- then when I saw that the ball was going to hang up and centerfielder Al Oliver had a beat on it— John Candelaria had pitched a no-hitter. That night on the way home we had an overcrowded bus and I wasn’t a bit unhappy to have to stand for the hour ride home. I had seen a no-hitter.


  1. That last out was risky… I’ve never seen one before…I have seen a triple play but that is it.
    That had to be really cool to see that. Even before they won the Series in 79…the team was memorable and I always liked to see him pitch…those uniforms helped also.

    • The Candyman was a favorite in the 70’s in Pittsburgh. Got off to a great start in his career- and seemed to play forever.

    • He was a good pitcher and I was fascinated by him and the “closer” Kent T…I won’t even try to spell it. Parker was just a giant to me…he made the other players look like boys.

    • I thought Candelaria was headed for the Hall of Fame type career- but looking at it- he did pretty well- 177 wins and a career 3.33 ERA- Tekulve- I learned to spell it from writing it so many times in my scorecards!

    • I remember that he pitched for the Dodgers at the end. He did have great numbers starting off…

      You know Hans…that would be a great post…players who you thought were a sure bet for the Hall of Fame…he would be one, Fred Lynn and others.

    • Fred Lynn a great example- he had a fine career but in 1975 I thought he was going to be an all time great- could do it all. … The 1980s certainly had a few Doc Gooden and Darryl Strawberry- Canseco- Fernando- of course with Fernando the problem was being overworked by a certain manager…

    • Fernando was worked like the town pump…great examples in Doc and Darryl…just sad about the both of them. I also thought Orel had a chance even before 88

    • Before your time but in the early 70’s- Vida Blue with the A’s- had a great first few years. Still won over 200 games I believe but- fall short.

    • I remember him when I started to watch in 77 as a Giant…I just saw his stats…after he turned 29 he started to go down….wow I didn’t realize he won over 200 games.

  2. Wow! talk about good timing or luck to be there for that. Very cool! I remember Candelaria through the baseball cards – liked him, like you said, he seemed to be one of the better NL pitchers for quite a few years. I’ve never been to a game that memorable . Did see Clemens pitch a shutout for Jays in person (he was incredible in his 2 years in Toronto but was obnoxious enough to not become popular with most fans) and watched Stieb’s No-no (only one yet for T.O.) on TV which was exciting, also caught the last inning of Halladay’s Phillies no hitter in playoffs which I LOVED

    • I remember that one Stieb was so close to having- i think 2 out in the 9th and the ground ball to second hit a rock or something and bounced over the second baseman’s head….

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