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.