Hideo Nomo’s No-Hitter in Denver 23 Years Ago Still Amazes Me

Hideo Nomo

I was a sophomore in high school 23 years ago today, September 17, 1996. I had rushed home from school in order to prepare for the Dodgers/Rockies game scheduled for about 5:00 PM PST. The game was one of the selected 50 or so road games being telecast on KTLA channel  5. In those days there was no sportsnetla. Home games were not televised and unless the Dodgers were on ESPN (some of those were blacked out too) the only way to see Dodgers baseball was to watch one of the 50 or so road games carried on local television.

During that night, just 4 days before my sixteenth birthday, I decided to watch the game in my bedroom. I was tired from a long day at school, but falling asleep was not an option for me. The Dodgers were in a tight divisional race with the San Diego Padres and I did not want to miss a minute of the action. I settled into my bed, reclining onto my pillow.

Starting for the Dodgers that evening was Japanese right handed pitching sensation Hideo Nomo. I had seen Nomo several times during the summer before, affectionately being known as “Nomomania”. I can vividly remember seeing two of Nomo’s shutouts at Dodger Stadium that summer. I was a big Nomo fan at the time. He was fun to watch. When Nomo pitched everyone stopped and watched.

That night it was clear something special was happening. It was a rainy dreary night at Coors field in Denver. The game even saw a lengthy rain delay, (two hours I believe) and the game ended late into the evening. During that era, the Rockies had some of their greatest hitters of all time. The Blake street bombers of Larry Walker, Dante Bichette, Ellis Burk, and Vinny Castilla were hitting balls out of the park in record numbers. This was also during the non-humidor beginnings of Coors Field where games regular ended with football scores. Pop-ups were often home runs. The Dodgers would win 9-0. I think Mike Piazza hit a couple of bombs that game.

So it was thought to be impossible for anyone to even pitch a shutout there, let alone toss a no-hitter. Yet there was Nomo, doing the unthinkable. As the game progressed, I moved into the living room to watch on the bigger television. My sister was with me, and we both huddled together around the TV on that cool evening, willing Hideo to do something incredible.

Nomo would eventually pitch the first of his two career no-hitters and the only no-hitter ever at Coors Field. For the record there have been only 14 complete game shutouts thrown at Coors Field. Nomo’s starts were all simulcast back to Japan. Each of his starts were national spectacles for the Japanese, and rightfully so.

Vin Scully’s call of the final out was fittingly iconic. The legendary broadcaster called the first three and last three innings of the game bookending Ross Porter’s middle frames. His call of the last out is something we will never forget.

“They said it could not be done” “Not in the mile high city of Denver, Not at Coors Field”

Of course Vin was referencing to the fact that we were all seeing something that was nearly impossible, or said to be. He had to reference that fact. Because who would have thought anyone would pitch a no-hitter at that forsaken ballpark? Happy Anniversary Hideo Nomo no-hitter. I will never forget that game, and neither will Japan.

“And thank goodness they saw it in Japan”

Damn right Vin.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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33 thoughts on “Hideo Nomo’s No-Hitter in Denver 23 Years Ago Still Amazes Me

  1. It was nice to see the highlights on YouTube tonight, of the amazing no-hitter by Nomo in Colorado. Also the incredible complete game victories by “The Bulldog”. Prime examples of feats we will not see very often with the way pitching staffs are handled in baseball today. Tonight? 16 pitchers total…. that is ridiculous. Well, I really did not enjoy the replays of the last two World Series losses. I don’t even think “Blue Goggles” could mask the embarrassment and disappointment.

    Cory Seager is “Hot”! He is seeing the ball well. A very good sign for October. Maeda did well, but the misplayed fly to Pollock spoiled his outing. Jansen, an impressive 4-out save.

    No help from Halos and Rangers… both clobbered by Yanks and Astros. If the Dodgers just take care of their own business, they will not have to scoreboard watch.

    1. Hello Bluefan. I recall watching that Nomo no hitter and the fact it was without the humidor makes it the most amazing to me as well. Unfortunately, I also recall how the Dodgers, as a WC team went 3 and out against the Braves in the NLDS

  2. I would comment on GasKanley and his appearance last night, but , as you know, I have said it all before, over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over.

    To Bert and the FO, please apply the mercy rule for any more appearances from GasKanley, the fans really can’t take no mo.

    Brutus, you never answered the question, Have you ever had an original thought in your life?

  3. What a boring game, last night. 4+ hours, 18 pitchers, Baez, Yimi, and Jansen meltdowns. Just when I thought that “maybe” they got this bullpen stuff figured out, the Dodgers take three steps backwards. To add to the mess, the offense is still wasting scoring opportunities, double-digit strikeouts, defensive lapses. Then there is the strike zone…. but that is a different problem, that the Dodgers have no control over.

    The post-season bullpen auditions continue, which is a bunch of crap. If after 153 games, they have not figured it out, then they never will.

    The only consolation was that the Yankees had to wait until the wee hours of the morning to find out they could not pop the corks on their champagne. I got a little satisfaction out of that.

    So, the Dodgers and Yanks play scoreboard watch, while the Astros sneak in the back door, and take care of their own business. Kudos to Houston…They want it. Do the Dodgers really want it?

    Dodgers hopes for home field advantage throughout October look grim, to say the least. Well, that just might be a bit presumptive, as they might not even make it through the NLDS.

    Go Blew!

    1. I love this post.

      #1 Baseball is boring now. It has been for a while, and this has been discussed here to a point of nausea.

      #2 I love the “Do the Dodgers want it” it’s such a silly fan trope. Every baseball professional is ridiculously competitive. It’s figuratively a pre-requisite to perform at that level, and accentuated with the players on the highest performing teams. Does anyone really think that the Astros have less “blah” games than the Dodgers?

      #3 As Blue alludes to in his conclusion. How awesome is it that things are so good with the Dodgers that fans are lamenting Home Field in the WORLD SERIES. They could easily lose in the NLDS/NLCS, but fans are stressed over home field in the WS. It’s awesome.

      This is truly a remarkable time to be a fan of the Dodgers. Constantly full stadiums, revered minor league systems and player development. Loads of major league rookies and young players under team control.

      It’s great. Let’s try to enjoy it.

      1. Thank you Bluto the Boring, as I suspected you never have had an original thought in your life, your silence speaks volumes. I know you are totally content to just make the post-season, how boring. Another question, have you ever made an effort to achieve greatness not just goodness? Never mind your posts say it all on that matter.

          1. Correct, Bluto. and we know one of the biggest problems were those 15 home runs the staff gave up in that 7 game series. But again Minute maid park is a joke of a park, more like one the size of a pony league park.

        1. The issue has been who we put on the rosters for each series and why. McCarthy had no reason to be on the 2017 WS roster and predictably choked. Andre Ethier was under-utilized against an Astros staff that he could have handled, but we gave those ABs to others (including Bellinger who had an abysmal series).

          Hopefully we have better plan(s) this time around. But our BP truly sucks. I don’t think there’s a fix there. We will need to win with our offense, base running and fielding.

          1. Agree Yueh,

            Pitching, both starting and relieving is suspect. With the current starters showing inability to go at least 6 strong innings, the shady relief corps will have their hands tied. Strong middle relief is essential. The biggest lump of coal in the bullpen is lack of a “lights out” closer.

            The “so called” potential powerhouse lineup will have to perform to their expectations, in order for them to have any chance in the playoffs. We all know they look good on paper, and have the highest run differential, but we also know that they have been flat recently, blowing too many scoring opportunities and striking out too many times. JT is hurting, Belli is slumping, Muncy is struggling.

            That being said, they have a lot of work to do to be competitive ,and win in the playoffs.

          2. Nobody goes more than 6 or even 5 in the playoffs.

            Well, almost nobody.

            But i 100% agree with your 2nd paragraph. If the Dodgers OPS at or below .600 this post-season, it’s not going to end well.

    2. Hey Bluefan, I understand that next September teams can only expand from 26 on the active roster to 28, and that means what we all saw last night as far as the revolving door of BP arms will not happen again. Reason is simple, Roberts will not have as many arms with which to change out after every batter or 2. And if I am correct, there would be a 3 batter minimum that a BP arm must face unless he finishes an inning before that with just 1 or 2 batters.

        1. Bluefan, on MLBN this AM they talked about how Wednesday’s game went over 4 hours with all these BP changes and again, I am honestly glad that Roberts won’t be able to drive all us fans crazy with all those pitching changes anymore.

  4. Keith Law chat:

    Scott: If the season ended today, who is Keith Law’s NL MVP?
    Keith Law: Bellinger.

    Bruce: Corey Seager came back this year after a couple of major injuries. What are your thoughts on his season and do you expect him to put up better numbers offensively next year after having an offseason where he does not have rehab? Do you expect Seager to move off SS for Lux in the near future?
    Keith Law: The Dodgers seem disinclined to move Seager, and 3b is occupied at the moment. Not sure where else he would go.

    Josh: There seems to be some between the lines discussion about Will Smith’s catching. Talk about Ryu not as good with him, etc. Just noise or a little signal there? Not sure how much you have watched him since he’s been in the bigs
    Keith Law: That sounds like bullshit to me. Nothing but raves for Smith’s catching all the way back to Louisville where he caught McKay.

    Jacob deGrom: Did anyone think I would becomne the best of the Mets starters? I was never ranked a shigh as Harvey, Wheeler, Matz or Noah
    Keith Law: I think I can say this safely now. I know one person who believed in deGrom before anyone else in the industry: Paul Depodesta.

    Scott: I was happy to see Jeter Downs get honorable mention in your Prospect of the Year column.
    Do you think his bat profiles well enough to carry him regardless of a possible position switch to CF?
    Keith Law: Yes, it does, but why not 2b?

    FANGRAPHS chats

    Branding: My Dodgers really look a dollar short compared the AL WS contenders. Can you tell me why I should feel this way?
    Craig Edwards: I’m not going to tell you how to feel, but if they make it to the series I don’t know that over the course of a handful of games, Verlander-Cole-Greinke is that much better in terms of your chances of winning than Buehler-Kershaw-Ryu and that rotation is better than any other AL team outside of Houston. It’s going to give the Dodgers a good chance of winning no matter who they play.

    NL Cy: Follow-up on that, would you have voted for Ryu if he didn’t blow up in August? Or would FIP still have swayed you to Scherzer/DeGrom?
    Craig Edwards: I don’t think Ryu ever jumped into the discussion with deGrom and Scherzer just due to park and defense that was keeping his ERA so low (along with his good pitching, of course).

    Sam: The playoffs is a crapshoot, but it seems to me like Friedman’s Dodgers are on the same trajectory as Rizzo’s Nationals, putting a good to great contending team out there every year, yet with the same loopholes year after year(bad bullpen, bad in-game manager). Do you consider this more of a success or a failure?
    Craig Edwards: It’s a success. The playoffs are hard. Did the Giants have some secret formula where they went 3 for 3 in the playoffs but completely missed the other two years. How would the Cubs be viewed differently if Cleveland got like one more hit? The Dodgers have just had a little bit of bad luck in a few short series over the years. Keep in mind, this year and 2017 were the only juggernaut seasons. They were in the low-90s in all those other title years so it isn’t like they should have expected a championship.
    Craig Edwards: Even if you have a 60% chance of winning every series (which they haven’t), you are still one in five to win it all in any given year. Even if you have a 20% chance of winning it all for six straight seasons (which they haven’t), you still fail to win a title a quarter of the time. It happens.

    1. As you know, I have always contended that you don’t have one original thought in your empty noggin. You aren’t capable of any post that isn’t actually someone else’s post, article or blog. Brutus the Boring strikes again. The wheel in the sky keeps on turning.

      1. Lots of “Cut and Paste”. Then, if you respond, Bluto will say, “I didn’t ask/say that”, or “I already know that”

        That is why I ignore or do not respond to most of his posts. But, he means well.

        1. No he doesn’t mean well, he’s got nothing to say, so he has to find someone else to say it. Brutus Cut and Paste Boring Boy, not an original thought in his pea brain. I will return to my “no read, skip over his posts” policy, his posts are a boring waste of time.

          Peace and Love, I’m off to vacation land, talk to ya in another week or so.

          1. Hey True,

            Any room on that plane for the Dodger team? Might as well let them join you!

            Have a great vacation!

  5. This is from today’s LA Times:
    After Wednesday’s loss, Dave Roberts said this about Jansen: He “didn’t have the command he did the last few times out. When you don’t, you get exposed.” Well, if it’s NLDS Game 3, and you see Jansen doesn’t have his command, then get him out of there. Maybe I’m missing something, but that seems like pretty basic managing to me.
    Enough said.

    1. 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣
      That is hilarious, Paul.

      So, what he is saying is the 8, or so “Blown Saves” by Jansen this year were not as important of Game 3 of the NLDS? That is BS! That is what really tees me off about DR and his management tactics. To me, every game is as important as game 3 of the NLDS! If he had managed the games properly, they would not even have to look in the rear view mirror on September. Now, they are struggling to keep pace with the Yanks and Astros.

      Bottom line, if they had played to win every game, then they would dominating the league, and teams would be trembling with the thought of having to face the Dodgers in the playoffs. As it it now, teams are licking their chops, and cannot wait to face these guys in October.

      1. Bluefan and Paul, exactly! We have been saying it all year, how in the hell can Bert stick to such stupid tactics and continue to make those stupid excuses?

        GasKanley is going to be the death of these boys in the playoffs. He is going to take Michael’s 20 Million Reasons excuse and burn the playoffs to the ground.

        Burn baby, Burn! The new bullpen motto.

  6. Kershaw struggled early again…. this time giving up 2 dingers, back-to-back with two out in the 1st inning. Somewhat settled down, but gave up a third run in the 2nd, and another dinger in the 4th. So, now down 4-1, things were looking grim. Then spark happened. After a lead off HR by Cory, and a HBP, Roberts, complaining about the BS strike zone gets tossed. Seemed to wake up the offense, and this resulted in a 7-run conga line barrage.

    So, end result was Kershaw being saved from another loss, and a 12-5 win.

    A win is a win, but should we be concerned? Yes we should. Kershaw is exposed. We all know Jansen has been exposed. The middle relief is and has been exposed.

    Belli is exposed, but can be a force, if he can be protected in the right place in the lineup and left in RF, where he is the strongest, this season. The constant elevator shuffling of the lineup (offensively and defensively) leads to his inconsistency at the plate and could cost him a silver/platinum slugger. His constant shuffling around on defense could cost him a gold glove. All these lineup decisions have to affect him, mentally. Opposing pitchers can pitch around him, depending on where he is in the lineup. Could NL MVP be in jeopardy?

    Positives….

    Muncy has not missed a beat, and has come back strong.
    Seager is playing MVP/playoff caliber baseball.
    Pollock gearing up for playoff mode.
    Clutch, productive hitting, not just swinging for the fences.
    Effective, aggressive base running. 3 stolen bases.
    JT back in the batter’s box.
    DR backing his players and igniting the team.

    Negatives….

    Kershaw is extremely vulnerable.
    3 more Dodgers HBP.
    Bogus strike zone by the home plate umpire.

  7. Another starting pitcher stumbles early and hands the last place Rockies an early lead. This time Buehler, who gave up two dingers and 4 runs in just 6 innings. The Rockies really put the pressure on Buehler by scoring two runs with some smart base stealing and RBI singles. The offense had no answers and failed to mount a late inning comeback. They were, however, able to mount 12 strikeouts, and two unearned runs. Cannot expect miracles every night, I guess.

    The only real positive tonight was Seager, who is still swinging a hot bat. Other than that, “flatline”…. no pulse.

    Negative…. the erratic strike zone by the home plate umpire, again.

    Starting pitching is showing signs of running out of gas. Relief pitching has been running on empty all season, especially their closer. Looks like the Dodgers might have to go with all bullpen games in the playoffs…. pitcher/closer by committee.

    So, in the race for HFA (not that it matters any more) the Yanks are tied with the Astros with 101 wins. Dodgers stalled at 99. And Braves attempting to sneak in the back door, with 96 wins. HFA may not help the Dodgers…. they can’t even beat the last place Rockies at home.

    1. Could be 1 by end of game with Belli, Pollock and Ryu dealing. Starting staff looks strong. I agree with Blue, it’s going to have to be bullpen by committee.

      On the bright side the Sox and ‘Stros rode a committee to the WS title.

      On the dark side, I’m not confident at all even with that recent history.

      1. Down to one, but Jansen made sure we had to bite our nails. Kiké bailed his ass out, big time!

        Jansen may end up being the nail in the coffin for the Dodgers, this post season.

        Ryu not at his best, but kept the Blue in the game with his athleticism, especially his bat! His HR seemed to spark the offense.

  8. Dodgers get home-field through the NL playoffs.

    Brew Crew or Nats.

    Love watching Hill pitch.

    Can’t believe Roberts pulled him in the middle of another no-hitter.

    JOKE.

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