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Johnny Vander Meer, Twice Perfect

On June 15, 1938, the Brooklyn Dodgers held the first night game at their home park, Ebbets Field. Pitching against the Dodgers that night was Cincinnati's Johnny Vander Meer who, four days earlier, had pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Bees. In an unprecedented pitching feat that has since not been matched, Vander Meer pitched a no-hitter against the Dodgers, becoming the only man to pitch two consecutive no-hitters. It's a feat likely never to be repeated.

This ball is from Vander Meer's record-setting second no-hitter. George Barr was the first base umpire that night and kept this ball. (Barr was a big collector of baseballs from the historic games that he umpired). He wrote on the ball: "This ball used in game Vander Meer set Worlds Record. 2nd no hit game. Brooklyn vs. Cincinnati".

This is Johnny Vander Meer's copy of his 1938 player's contract. He couldn't have known, when he agreed to it, that he would do the impossible that year by pitching two consecutive no-hitters.

Johnny Vandeer Meer (center) runs off the field after pitching his second consecutive no-hitter.

Related links:

See a photograph of what it looked like at Ebbets Field the night that Johnny Vander Meer pitched his second consecutive no-hitter.

See the only ball that survived from baseball’s very first night game played on May 24, 1935 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati.