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Yanks Down Bosox as Bouton Comes within 3 Outs of No-Hitter

Aug. 28, 1963 - Jim Bouton (right with Tony Kubek), the 23-year-old flame-throwing right-hander of the Yankees, came within three outs of hurling the American League’s first no-hitter of 1963 at Yankee Stadium yesterday as the Bronx Bombers defeated the Red Sox, 5-0, in the first half of a doubleheader before a crowd of 34,319. The hitless spell for Bouton ended when Russ Nixon, a lefty pinch hitter first up in the ninth, drove a single past the pitcher into center field. Another single followed, so Jim had to be satisfied with a two-hit shutout for his 18th victory of the season. Afterward, Bouton blamed no one but himself for Nixon’s streak-breaking single. “It was a stupid pitch,” said Jim. “I know the spot called for a breaking pitch with an 0-2 count, but it looked to me the way Russ was swinging his bat that he wasn’t ready for a fastball. So, I threw a fastball right down the pipe. Nixon always hits me good.” Bouton tried to make a backhand catch as Nixon’s shot went past him. “I was late lunging for the ball. I’d have taken it in my mouth if I could have that line drive back again.” After the game, Nixon said Bouton’s claim that he hits the righty well is incorrect. “I started three games against him this year,” Russ recalled, “and I didn’t get a single hit off him. I got one off him last year. That was as a pinch hitter too. The only times I’ve hit the guy has been as a pinch hitter.” Had Bouton achieved the no-hitter, it would have been accomplished on the 25th anniversary of the first no-hitter ever tossed at the Stadium. That one was posted by Monte Pearson of the Yankees against the Cleveland Indians on Aug. 27, 1938. The last Yankee to pitch a regular season no-hitter was Allie Reynolds in 1951 — Allie threw two that year, on July 12 and September 28. Bouton, a native of Newark who now makes his home in Ridgewood, N.J., had his wife, parents, and grandmother at yesterday’s doubleheader. In the second game, the Yanks, behind Ralph Terry, again shut out the Sox, 3-0.

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