"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
Jeff Kallman's ode to Bobo Holloman today is worth the price of admission.
Today is recalled with reverence by St. Louis Browns fans as the anniversary of the day in 1953 when Alva "Bobo" Holloman of the Brownies became the first pitcher in modern baseball history to pitch a no-hitter in his first big-league start. He never pitched another complete game in the majors.
Bobo wasn’t a drinker. He was very superstitious and he had to do everything a certain way. He was just kind of a boastful guy. He thought he was good, and he really wasn’t. But he pitched that no-hitter. How he did it, I don’t know, but he did. It was a cold night, and he pitched a heck of a game.
—Marty Marion, St. Louis Browns manager (1952-53), to Peter Golenbock, for The Spirit of St. Louis: A History of the St. Louis Cardinals and Browns.
Big Bobo went out and pitched against the Athletics, the softest competition we could find, and everything he threw was belted. And everywhere the ball went, there was a Brownie there to catch it. It was such a hot and humid and heavy night that long fly balls which seemed to be heading out of the park would die and be caught against the fence. Just when Bobo looked as if he was tiring, a shower would sweep across the field, delaying the game long enough for him to get a rest. Allie Clark hit one into the left field seats that curved foul at the last second. A bunt just rolled foul on the last spin. Our fielding was superb. The game went into the final innings and nobody had got a base hit off Big Bobo. On the final out of the eighth inning, Billy Hunter made an impossible diving stop on a ground ball behind second base and an even more impossible throw. With two out in the ninth, a ground ball was rifled down the first base line—right at our first baseman, Vic Wertz. Big Bobo had pitched the quaintest no-hitter in the history of the game.