Ulysses Simpson Grant “Stoney” McGlynn was a legendary pitcher well before he tossed a complete-game victory on September 20, 1906, in his big-league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals at age 34. For more than a decade in independent, amateur, and semipro leagues, McGlynn had established his reputation as a rubber-armed iron man who routinely pitched both games of doubleheaders.
Before joining the Cardinals, McGlynn had already won 41 games and logged 463 innings for the York Penn Parks in independent Tri-State League and the Steubenville Stubs in the Class D Pennsylvania-Ohio-Maryland League in 1906. Sporting Life quipped that the 5-foot-11, 185-pound spitballer was “the oldest young blood that ever broke into the National League” and added, “‘Stony’ shows his years in his face but not in his arm. He says he feels better now than he ever did and is good for ten years of active service.”1
In his second start, four days after his debut, the native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, added another achievement to his long list: a seven-inning no-hitter.
There was little to play for other than pride and a chance to impress the managers when the lowly Cardinals and Brooklyn Superbas took the field at Washington Park in the City of Churches for a twin bill on Saturday, September 22, 1906. Mother nature intervened, however, and let loose a torrent of rain in the bottom half of the first inning, sending both teams off the field.2 After a 30-minute wait, both games were postponed and rescheduled for Monday.
In the middle of 16-game road swing, skipper John McCloskey’s seventh-place Cardinals (50-92) had won only five of their last 26 games (one tie), and trailed the first-place Chicago Cubs by 57 games. Patsy Donovan, classified as player-manager even though the veteran outfielder made just 21 plate appearances, had guided the sixth-place Superbas (58-81) to nine wins in their last 15 games, and they seemed poised to overtake the Cincinnati Reds and move into fifth place.
After Sunday off, players were back Washington Park, located in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. A sunny afternoon with temperatures in the 60s and winds from the northwest drew a sparse crowd, estimated at 2,100 to 2,700, to the wooden ballpark.3
In an exciting opening contest, the Superbas overcame a 5-3 deficit, tying the game in the eighth and winning in the 11th. Tim Jordon collected the club’s third single of the inning to drive in Doc Casey for a 6-5 victory in 2 hours and 20 minutes.
In the second contest, one of the Superbas’ bright spots, 25-year-old Doc Scanlan, took the mound. The 5-foot-8, 165-pound right-hander was 16-13 in his second season as a full-time starter, which improved his career slate to 37-35.4 The rescheduled twin bill gave McCloskey the opportunity to send McGlynn to the mound on three days’ rest in the final contest of the 22-game season series with the Superbas.
“Every time the St. Louis Club comes here a bunch of new faces is to be seen,” wrote the Brooklyn Times.5 Eight of the nine Cardinals starters in the second game had been added to the roster after the season started and had been purchased from the minor leagues or acquired via trade. The remaining player, second baseman Pug Bennett, was a rookie.
After the tense extra-inning excitement of the first game, the Times declared, “[L]ittle can be said of the second contest except that it was an ideal twirler’s battle.”6 The St. Louis Globe-Democrat opined, “The pitching of McGlynn and Scanlon was about equal in effectiveness.”7 With both hurlers at their top of their game, “the Donovites were fortunate to get a tie,” admitted the Brooklyn Eagle.8
The Superbas tallied their only run of the game in the first inning in what the Globe-Democrat described as a “peculiar and rather unusual” sequence of events.9 After Casey fanned for the first out, Bill Maloney drew a walk and swiped second. Harry Lumley dropped a sacrifice bunt that McGlynn fielded and tossed to first. The reigning NL stolen-base champ with 59 as a member of the Chicago Cubs in 1905, Maloney “burned the trail,” wrote the Globe-Democrat, rounded third, and scored on first sacker Shad Barry’s wild throw to the plate for an unearned run.10
Through four innings neither pitcher had allowed a hit. Brooklyn and St. Louis sportswriters agreed that Maloney’s running catch on Barry’s short fly to center field in the fourth was the defensive play of the game.
With one out in the top of the fifth, the Cardinals’ Red Murray singled for the first hit of the game. After he was forced on Ed Holly’s grounder to first base, he jawed with first-base umpire Jim Johnstone on his way to the bench. Holly was caught stealing to end the frame.
Murray was still yapping when he took his position in right field in the bottom of the frame. Johnstone finally tossed the disgruntled player, leading to what the Brooklyn Times called “the most prolonged kick that has been witnessed on a league diamond in some time.”11 The paper reported that Murray ran to and confronted Johnstone at first base, delaying the game for several minutes before he could be removed. Phil Lewis coaxed McGlynn’s second and final free pass, but was erased attempting to steal second.
With two out in the sixth, Scanlan “made a present of the tieing [sic] run to the Cardinals,” reported the Eagle.12 In just his sixth big-league game, Tom O’Hara singled. Suddenly, Scanlan “appeared to concentrate all of his attention on preventing the runner from stealing second,” continued the Eagle.13 He had a two-strike count on Al Burch, then walked him. Scanlan’s bugaboo was his control and he led the majors with 127 walks (in 288 innings) in 1906. He tossed two quick strikes to Pug Bennett before the rookie connected for a single, driving in O’Hara and tying the game.
Brooklyn sportswriters seemed impressed with McGlynn, whom the Brooklyn Citizen described as having “passed his fortieth year.”14 The Standard Union lauded McGlynn as a “heady pitcher,”15 while the Eagle declared that “the Superbas could make no impression on [his] spitball.16
Home-plate umpire Bob Emslie and Johnstone declared the game official after seven innings and 1 hour and 20 minutes because of darkness. It was not clear when the umpire informed the two clubs that the seventh would be the last inning. Nonetheless, the decision was not unusual. It was the fourth time since September 14 that the second game of a Superbas twin bill had ended early because of darkness.
The results of the doubleheader gave the Superbas a 13-8 record with one tie against the Cardinals, but McGlynn emerged as the day’s biggest story. He was credited with a no-hitter, albeit an abbreviated seven-inning no-no.
Epilogue: McGlynn made four more starts in 1906, completing all of them. He ended the season by tossing 11 innings against the Cubs and Orval Overall in his debut at Robison Field in St. Louis. That game, too, ended in a tie, 3-3, due to darkness.
McGlynn followed his cup of coffee in 1906 with his only full season in the big leagues, winning 14 games, leading the majors with 25 losses, and the NL in innings (352⅓), starts (39), and complete games (33). He pitched only sporadically in 1908 (1-6, 75⅔ innings) and was sold to the Milwaukee Brewers in the American Association. As Steve Schmitt noted in the player’s SABR biography, McGlynn was reunited with McCloskey and revived his ironman reputation.17 He went 27-21, tossed 14 shutouts, and logged 446 innings in 1910. McGlynn threw his final professional pitch in 1915 at age 43.
McGlynn was counted among the assemblage of pitchers with no-hitters for 85 years. That changed in September 1991. The Committee for Statistical Accuracy, led by Commissioner Fay Vincent, amended the definition of a no-hitter to include only those games that last at least nine innings and end with no hits. An estimated 36 abbreviated no-hitters were removed from the ranks, including McGlynn’s.
In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author accessed Retrosheet.org, Baseball-Reference.com, and SABR.org.
1 McGlynn No Youth,” Sporting Life, October 20, 1906: 13.
2 “Only One Game Played in the National League,” Brooklyn Eagle, September 23, 1906: 18.
3 “The Weather,” Brooklyn Eagle, September 25, 1906: 5. Attendance figures for the doubleheader vary. The Brooklyn Standard Union reported 1,500 in attendance for the first game and 1,000 for the second game; the Brooklyn Citizen reported 2,100 for the twin bill; and Baseball-Reference.com has a total of 2,700. See “M’Glynn Fools Superbas,” Brooklyn Citizen, September 25, 1906: 5; and “Superbas Won First in Eleventh; And Go Seven Rounds to a Draw,” Brooklyn Standard Union, September 25, 1906: 8.
4 Scanlan was the starter in the first game of the postponed twin bill on September 22.
5 “Brooklyn Wins and Draws with Cardinals,” Brooklyn Times, September 25, 1906: 5.
6 “Brooklyn Wins and Draws with Cardinals.”
7 “McGlynn Twirls No-Hit Contest,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 25, 1906: 13.
8 “Eleven Inning Victory and a Tie Result of Final Clash with St. Louis,” Brooklyn Eagle, September 25, 1906: 7.
9 “McGlynn Twirls No-Hit Contest.”
10 “McGlynn Twirls No-Hit Contest.”
11 “Brooklyn Wins and Draws with Cardinals.”
12 “Eleven Inning Victory and a Tie Result of Final Clash with St. Louis.”
13 “Eleven Inning Victory and a Tie Result of Final Clash with St. Louis.”
14 “M’Glynn Fools Superbas.”
15 “Superbas Won First in Eleventh; And Go Seven Rounds to a Draw,” Brooklyn Standard Union, September 25, 1906: 8.
16 “Eleven Inning Victory and a Tie Result of Final Clash with St. Louis.”