No-hitting your opponent is the common goal for every starting pitcher when they take the mound, though it’s not that common to see one. In fact, there have only been 303 official no-hitters in Major League Baseball.
Today marks the 24th anniversary of the day Al Leiter completed the first no-no in Marlins history. In 1996, on May 11, he limited the Rockies to zeroes at Joe Robbie Stadium during an 11-0 victory.
Leiter—acquired via free agency before the 1996 season—threw a 103-pitch masterpiece, struck out six hitters, and gave up two walks in route to the feat. What kept Leiter from the perfect game was a base on balls to Andrés Galarraga, a hit by pitch to Ellis Burks, and another walk to Jayhawk Owens.
In his final inning of the night, the lefty got two groundouts from Owens and Quinton McCracken before punching out Eric Young on a 3-2 count.
Reflecting on it in 2011, here’s what Leiter said was going through his mind when he completed the job:
“God! It was the most uncomfortable thing for me after the no-hitter. We’re up 11-0 and it was just a matter whether I was gonna get the no-hitter, and it was really odd for me. After that, it was: ‘Oh, what I’d do? Does [catcher Charles Johnson] jump on me? Do I jump on him?’
“And I think, after, I had so many friends like, ‘It looked like...nothing! Like you threw like a complete game...two or three runs.’”
Leiter’s no-no was the only one for the Fish franchise until Kevin Brown did the same to the Giants a year later (June 10, 1997).
Below, you can check box scores from all six no-hitters in Marlins history.
- Al Leiter vs. Rockies | May 11, 1996
- Kevin Brown vs. Giants | June 10, 1997
- AJ Burnett vs. Padres | May 12, 2001
- Aníbal Sánchez vs. Diamondbacks | September 6, 2006
- Henderson Álvarez vs. Tigers | September 29, 2013
- Edinson Vólquez vs. Diamondbacks | June 3, 2017