Throwback Thursday: Almost perfection for Milt Pappas

WGN News Now

CHICAGO – Earlier in 2021, there was a pitcher for a Chicago baseball team who had a bit of heartbreak even during a no-hitter.

That was White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, who took a perfect game into the ninth inning and got the first out to retire his 25th-straight batter. Then on the 26th, he hit Roberto Perez in the toe with a pitch, and the chance to throw the 24th perfect game in Major League Baseball history was gone.

All was good, though, as Rodon retired the next two hitters to finish up the outing without a hit for the first time in his career.

It’s a scenario that’s played out before, and did so 49 years ago on Thursday at Wrigley Field, and this pitcher came even closer.

On September 2, 1972 against the Padres, Cubs starter Milt Pappas retired the first 26 batters of the game and had Larry Stahl on a 2-2 count. Each of his next two pitches were close, but umpire Bruce Froemming refused to give it to him, and Stahl drew a walk to break-up the perfect game.

A furious Pappas screamed toward home plate but to no avail.

Still, the pitcher was able to get the next hitter Garry Jestadt to fly out to second base to seal the first and only no-hitter of his career.

Larry Hawley featured that moment during “Throwback Thursday” on WGN News Now and you can watch it in the video above.

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