December 7, 1935|
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
|Died: January 14, 2008
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 21, 1957 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1970 for the Atlanta Braves|
|Earned run average||3.92|
|Career highlights and awards|
Donald Eugene Cardwell (December 7, 1935 – January 14, 2008) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for five National League teams from 1957 to 1970. He was the first pitcher in major league history to pitch a no-hitter in his first game after being traded, hurling a 4-0 gem on May 15, 1960, two days after being traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Chicago Cubs. After winning 15 games for the 1961 Cubs, he twice won 13 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates before helping the New York Mets win the 1969 World Series title.
Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Cardwell signed with the Phillies as an amateur free agent in 1954. He debuted in 1957 and struggled in three seasons with the Phillies, winning 16 games while losing 24 as a spot starter.
On May 13, 1960 Cardwell was traded to the Cubs for Tony Taylor. Two days later, he no-hit the St. Louis Cardinals in the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field—the first no-hitter ever thrown by a pitcher in his first start with a new team. The lone baserunner was on a walk to Alex Grammas with one out in the first inning; Cardwell then retired the next 26 batters. Two ninth-inning catches enabled Cardwell to secure the no-hitter: one by right fielder George Altman on a Carl Sawatski line drive for the first out of the inning, and one by left fielder Walt "Moose" Moryn on Joe Cunningham's sinking line drive to end the game, Moryn catching the ball just inches off the ground. Despite the no-hit heroics, Cardwell finished 9-16 in 1960, although the Cubs as a team were only slightly better at 60-94. However, he also displayed his abilities as a batter with 16 hits (five of which were home runs) in 77 at bats for a .208 batting average.
Cardwell's best season was in 1961; he won a career-high 15 games and also posted a career-best 156 strikeouts. After slumping to 7-16 in 1962, Cardwell was traded on October 17, along with Altman, to the Cardinals. However, his stay in St. Louis ended before he'd even pitched a game for the Cardinals. A month later the Redbirds traded him to the Pirates for Dick Groat.
Cardwell won 13 games for the Pirates in 1963 while posting a career-best 3.07 earned run average, then suffered severe arm trouble in 1964. He rebounded to win 13 more games in 1965 before being traded to the Mets in December of 1966 along with outfielder Don Bosch for pitcher Dennis Ribant and utilityman Gary Kolb.
Pitching mostly as a spot starter, Cardwell went 12-22 in his first two seasons with the Mets. In 1969 he went 8-10 in a rotation with Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Nolan Ryan and Gary Gentry, helping them unexpectedly win the World Series. In late July of that year he had a 3-9 record, then won five straight, including a 1-0 shutout in the second game of a September 12 doubleheader against the Pirates (in the first game, Koosman had also blanked the Pirates 1-0; both pitchers drove in the only run in their respective games). This victory, the ninth of a ten-game winning streak for the Mets, came two days after the Mets had taken over first place for good in the National League East (in 1969 the two leagues had been split into two divisions) by leapfrogging past the Chicago Cubs, who had been in first place for much of the season, only to stumble late in the season.
Cardwell was sold to the Atlanta Braves in midseason the following year, where he ended his career.
In his 14 seasons, Cardwell won 102 games while losing 138 with 1211 strikeouts in 2122⅔ innings pitched.
- MLB All-Time Hit Batsmen List
- List of Major League Baseball no-hitters
- List of Major League Baseball all-time leaders in home runs by pitchers
- Jack Quinlan and Jack Brickhouse for transcripts of final out of no-hitter
May 15, 1960