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Jim Tobin

Jim Tobin

The Braves have had some great knuckleballers over the years. The story of the 1944 season was the 31 year-old knuckleball expert Jim Tobin. His nick name was Abba Dabba. He was also a pretty good hitter. But clearly he became one of the most un-hittable pitchers of his time. If you have ever faced a decent knuckleballer, you know how a great one could lock you out.

So let’s take nine days in April of 1944. Tobin on gave up 4 hits. So how many games did he win? How about 2 of 3. Here is how it worked out. It started with a 3 hitter he lost against the Giants. So, back to mound on his next start. He beat Philadelphia this time. It was a one-hitter. So, four days rest and back at it on April 27, 1944, when he beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 2-0. So oh my goodness, the sixth no-hitter in the Braves history. It hadn’t happened since 1916. He allowed 2 walks.  Here is the kicker. In the eight inning he hit a home run. He was the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter and hit a home run. Not a bad day.

His second, semi-official no-hitter was a five-inning game on June 22, 1944, in which the Philadelphia Phillies fell 7-0 (officially, this game is no longer considered a true no-hitter, as it lasted fewer than nine innings).