July 30th, 1973… The late Jim Bibby becomes the 14th rookie ever and the first Texas Ranger pitcher to throw a no-hitter. Facing off against the great Vida Blue, the hard throwing right-hander held Oakland A’s hitless in a 3-0 Texas victory at the Oakland Coliseum.
At 6’5″ tall and well over 220 pounds, Bibby could be an intimidating force standing on the mound. He could hold eight baseballs in one of his massive hands. On that night in Oakland, he threw almost exclusively fastballs to the 2-time defending World Series champions, collecting 13 strikeouts. After striking out for the first out in bottom of the ninth inning, Reggie Jackson commented on the strike three pitch, “That’s the fastest ball I ever saw. Actually I didn’t see it. I just heard it.”
Jim would go on an play another 11+ years, making the NL All Star team in 1980 and winning the World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He would go on to throw two one-hitters — including one game in 1981 (as a member of the Pirates) where he allowed a lead off single, before retiring the next 27 batters he faced.
Jim died of bone cancer in February of 2010 in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was 65.