“Eck” was still a young stud starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in 1977, and perhaps reached the pinnacle of his career when he faced the California Angels on a cool May evening at Cleveland Stadium.
Facing off against California’s Frank Tanana, who was having himself an excellent year, Eckersley was just a touch better when he held the Angels hitless, issuing only one base-on-balls to first baseman Tony Solaita while striking out 12 and facing the minimum 27 batters.
Sadly for Tanana, he gave up a run over eight innings, striking out six and lowering his season ERA to 2.08, dropping to 8-2 on the season, while Eckersley improved to 5-3, with his ERA getting down to 2.98.
Of course, after another seven seasons or so of being a starter, Eckersley transformed his career and became the Hall of Fame relief pitcher who would pitch well into his 40’s, winning not only a Cy Young Award in 1992 but the league’s MVP Award as well.
Incredible to think that at the moment of his no-hitter, Eckersley STILL had another 21 seasons of his MLB career to go!