Baseball History: Rick Wise

rick wise 1971 frontRick Wise is celebrating his 70th birthday this week on Sept. 13.

Wise pitched for five different teams during his 18-year career with an 188-181 record. He was also traded for a pair of members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Prior to the 1972 season, he was sent from the Philadelphia Phillies to the St. Louis Cardinals for Steve Carlton. After the 1977 season with the Boston Red Sox, Wise was part of a six-player deal that had him heading to the Cleveland Indians for Dennis Eckersley.

Some of his biggest highlights in his career seemed to involve the Cincinnati Reds. At Riverfront Stadium, Wise was 4-1 against the Reds with an ERA of 2.49.

In 1971, Wise became the fourth pitcher in the major league history to toss a no-hitter and hit a home run in the same game in Cincinnati as he beat the Reds 4-0. If that wasn’t enough, Wise hit two long balls that day and is the only hurler to ever do that. His first homer was in the fifth inning off Ross Grimsley and the second came against Clay Carroll in the eighth.

On the mound that season, Wise was 17-14 with an ERA of 2.88. He appeared in his first all-star game and also hit six homers, including another contest with two blasts against the San Franscisco Giants Aug. 28.

Two years later, Wise nearly no-hit the Reds again as a member of the Cardinals on June 13, 1973. Joe Morgan‘s one-out single prevented Wise from his second gem at Riverfront Stadium.

rick wise 1974 asReds Hall of Fame manager Sparky Anderson must have been impressed with Wise as he would select the right-hander to start the all-star game for the National League in Kansas City.

Wise would be the winning pitcher in the contest as the NL won 7-1. He would post a 16-12 mark that season.

By 1975, Wise was a member of the Red Sox as they went on to win the American League East and then sweep the Oakland A’s in the playoffs. Wise would get the victory when Boston clinched the pennant in game three.

In World Series against the Reds, Wise started the third contest in Cincinnati and worked in relief in the sixth affair in Boston.

Wise didn’t get a decision in game three as the Reds won 6-5 in 10 innings in the contest that featured the controversial play between Cincinnati’s Ed Armbrister and Boston’s Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk.

In the famous sixth game, Wise worked a scoreless 12th frame to earn the victory as Fisk hit his walk-off homer in the bottom of the inning to set up a decisive final game, which the Reds would win to claim the title.

The Beginning

rick wise 1976Wise started his career in Philadelphia during the 1964 season. His first win as a big leaguer was in the second game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets.

Hall of Fame teammate Jim Bunning threw a perfect game in the opener that day.

Wise played with the Phillies until 1972 when he went to St. Louis for two seasons. He was with Boston from 1974 to 1977 and in Cleveland from 1978 and 1979. He ended his career with the San Diego Padres from 1980 to 1982.

The Hitter

Wise had a career batting of .195 with 15 home runs.

In additon to the two-homer contests in 1971, he added two more against Hall of Fame pitchers Fergie Jenkins of the Chicago Cubs and Gaylord Perry of the Giants to total six in that season.

The No-Hit Homers

The other three pitchers to throw a no-hitter and hit a homer in the same game are Wes Ferrell of the Indians in 1931, Jack Tobin of the Boston Braves in 1944 and Earl Wilson of the Red Sox in 1962.


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