Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hey! Hey! The Ken Holtzman no-hitter

With the death of Ron Santo, released a brief highlight video of the 3rd baseman's playing days. Included in it were clips from many games over the 1969-1972 seasons. One clip that stood out was a part of the Ken Holtzman no-hitter that I had never seen.

A big hat tip goes out to twib77 for bringing these clips to my attention.

In the past, I had seen clips of the 9th inning. We will get to that later. What I hadn't seen until a few months ago was the footage from the 7th inning. On top of that, what I hadn't seen until 3 days ago was the clip from the FIRST inning of that game.

All of this footage is WGN COLOR broadcast footage. I'll break it down after the jump.

First things first, here is the boxscore for the August 19th, 1969 game. What could have been a preview of the first ever NLCS, the Cubs stood 8 games ahead of 2nd place for the last time following this game. From this point on, they went into a tailspin that actually had them finishing 8 games OUT of first place.

The newest clip first of all is this, the Ron Santo at-bat vs Phil Niekro. With 2 on and 1 out, Santo hit a ball over the ivy in LF for a 3-run HR. That was the 3rd hit of the inning for the Cubs, on a day where they only had 5.

Jump ahead to the 7th inning. We get a fateful at-bat between Hank Aaron and Holtzman. Aaron jumps on a pitch in the general direction Santo blasted his HR to, in which Jack Brickhouse exclaims "There goes the no-hitter" only to have the Wrigley wind bring the ball into the nook in LF to be caught for the first out.

In the closing 9th inning, Santo gobbles up a groundball to 3B for a bang-bang play preserving the no hitter with 2 outs in the 9th.

To close out the ining, Aaron takes aim at Holtzman again with a long at-bat that finally ends with a groundout to 2B.

The Cubs, Santo included, mob the pitcher on the mound.

Some of these clips come from the Santo montage, others come from a source I'm not at liberty to share at the moment. They are a highlight film, which can put some doubt on whether a full broadcast exists. However, all of these not only include broadcast audio but are extended enough to make it seem that large chunks of the game at least exists.

Above all having those highlight clips and now this Santo footage makes it more of a possibility today than it was a month ago that this game exists in the massive WGN archives in it's entirety.


  1. If it exists, that would be the third oldest complete regular season game available, right? After only the 1967 Red Sox second-to-last game of the season and the July 12, 1969 Cubs-Phillies NBC GOTW. It does seem quite possible that someone put together a highlight reel before recording over the tape, if those were the only clips you have seen. Hopefully not though!

  2. I've seen the last half of the ninth in it's entirety. I beleive this and the highlights are the only footage that remains. WGN typically saved the highlites and the last inning(s of no-hitters. Did you know that the entire 8th and 9th ininng of Don Cardwell's no hitter against the Cardnials is perserved on B&W video tape including the commericals and some post game interviews? It's pretty cool.

  3. I meant the first half of the ninth...sorry. The Don Cardwell no-no is from May, 1960.