‘Lost’ no-hitter by Cleveland’s Pete Dowling in 1901 now recognized as first in American League history

Pete Dowling (BASEBALL-REFERENCE.COM)DECEMBER 10, 2020 — Baseball records are not chiseled in stone. Our knowledge changes over time as new information comes to light.

SABR has published a new research article by Gary Belleville to explain how a long-lost no-hitter by Cleveland’s Pete Dowling in 1901 has been recognized by the baseball research community as the first no-hitter in Indians franchise history — and the first one thrown in the American League’s inaugural season as a major league, too.

Dowling’s feat on June 30, 1901, against the Milwaukee Brewers has been obscured for more than a century because of an official scoring decision that was made too late to prevent an erroneous wire-service report from being sent out across the country.

Recently, after an extensive review of newspaper accounts and evidence collected from many sources, Retrosheet.org and Baseball-Reference.com added box scores from the 1901 season to their online databases, confirming Dowling’s performance to be a 9-inning no-hitter in the Cleveland Blues’ 7-0 win at Milwaukee.

Previously, James “Nixey” Callahan of the Chicago White Sox was thought to have thrown the first AL no-hitter in 1902 and Bob Rhoads the first in Cleveland franchise history in 1908.

Click here to read the full story of Pete Dowling’s historic achievement at the SABR Games Project.

Originally published: December 11, 2020. Last Updated: December 11, 2020.