Harry Allison

Harry Allison

by Martín Abresch


Harry Allison tossed the first no-hitter in baseball history.

Allison joined the Hartford Bridegrooms in 1876, and Hartford joined the fledgling National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs. Allison started all 70 games and went 23-39 with a 2.89 ERA. Hartford’s financial difficulties prevented them from fielding a competitive team. In 1877, they went 11-59. After the season, they declared bankruptcy.

In 1878, Allison joined Boston but watched from the dugout as Ellis Culpepper made most of the Beaneaters’ starts. In 1879, the league raised the number of games played to 84, and teams were forced to use more pitchers. Allison became the team’s number two starter, and his 1.77 ERA was third best in the league. This did not translate into team success, however, and he finished the season with a 6-15 record.

On June 28, 1878, Harry Allison pitched the game for which he is now remembered. Facing the Indianapolis Independents, Allison pitched the first no-hitter in baseball history. Allison pitched to contact and trusted his defense. He required only 94 pitches and, remarkably, did not strike out a single soul. He walked one.

Allison would finish his career having started 174 games and having thrown just shy of 1,500 innings. For his career, he went 51-105 with a 2.91 ERA.

More bios