SI Vault
 
THE QUESTION: Should you break tradition and talk about a no-hitter while it's still in the making?
Jimmy Jemail
July 14, 1958
BOBBY BRAGAN Manager Cleveland Indians It's a lot of malarkey. I take no stock in superstitions of this kind. The silly idea of not mentioning a no-hitter even goes into the dugout. Players are tense. No one dares say "no-hitter." If they joked about it they'd be more relaxed, play better and help the pitcher.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
July 14, 1958

The Question: Should You Break Tradition And Talk About A No-hitter While It's Still In The Making?

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

BOBBY BRAGAN
Manager
Cleveland Indians
It's a lot of malarkey. I take no stock in superstitions of this kind. The silly idea of not mentioning a no-hitter even goes into the dugout. Players are tense. No one dares say "no-hitter." If they joked about it they'd be more relaxed, play better and help the pitcher.

CASEY STENGEL
Manager
New York Yankees
If I were a pitcher going into the ninth inning with a no-hitter, I'd like to be told about it. When I was managing Brooklyn, Dizzy Dean had a no-hitter in the ninth. Then we got two dinky singles. If someone had challenged Dizzy to pitch a no-hitter, he could have done it.

DON LARSEN
Pitcher
New York Yankees
The tradition makes good conversation, but I have no superstition about it. If an announcer broadcasts the progress of a no-hitter, I don't hear it. So how can it jinx me? Actually, the quiet in the dugout gets so deafening that I've wished they'd joke about it instead.

DICK DONOVAN
Attorney
Pelham, N.Y.
Even though it is a superstition, I would never mention a no-hitter. Furthermore, if I were a pitcher and someone shouted "no-hitter," I'd get sore. This is a baseball tradition. I wouldn't change it any more than I'd abolish the intentional base on balls.

RED BARBER
Sports announcer
New York City
I don't hold with it. As a reporter I have no right to withhold the information. The closer the pitcher comes to a no-hitter, the more important it is to report it. I've telecast several no-hitters and never ignored the obvious. I admit I'm alone in this, but I never jinxed anyone.

HERB SCORE
Pitcher
Cleveland Indians
I don't think it makes any difference. I've had no-hitters going into the ninth inning. I knew it. So did everyone else. In some cases, the aversion to mentioning a no-hitter builds up the tension and puts undue strain on the pitcher. If you're going to pitch a no-hitter, you'll pitch it.

MORRIS McLEMORE
Sports editor
Miami News
Of course you don't. Do you go around telling everybody you're getting a raise in pay? I broke the rule only once, in Atlanta, when Paul Richards was managing. Ed Miles, another newspaperman, was there and I thought he was going to kill me.

HENRY GARFINKLE
President, American News and-Union News companies
New York City
Not mentioning a no-hitter has no actual bearing on the outcome of the game, but it is an old tradition associated with baseball, a conversation piece, and it adds color. I like the superstition. The silence makes the no-hitter seem more important.

BASIL (MICKEY) BRIGGS
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
I like it. My father was very superstitious when he ran the Tigers. You couldn't go in or out of his box during a no-hitter. You couldn't even light or put out a cigaret. If it was the opposing pitcher, he'd do everything he could to jinx him.

FRANK CONNIFF
National Editor
Hearst Newspapers
It's as pointless as all superstitions. If you want your pitcher to win, you want him to relax. I think players should talk to each other during a close game. I once shouted "no-hitter" in the ninth inning to Rex Barney and he went on to pitch it.

Continue Story
1 2