On July 20, 1974, the Oakland Athletics
played a baseball game in Cleveland, and the Indian pitcher, a young righthander named
Dick Bosman, blanked the A's with a no-hit, no-run game. When the reporters invaded the
post-game Oakland clubhouse to solicit comments about Bosman's feat, one of the first
players they sought out was Oakland's Ken Holtzman.
"The man pitched a
no-hitter and he didn't pitch it scared," said the A's ace left-hander. "He
didn't pitch around anyone. He came right at you." Ken's remarks drew particular
attention because he himself knew all about no-hitters. The masterful southpaw had pitched
two himself while establishing himself as one of the top professional hurlers in the game.
Ken's twin no-hitters
were thrown while he was with the Chicago Cubs in the National League; when he was traded
to Oakland in the American League, he became a member of the most celebrated three-man
rotation in baseball, a twenty-game winner, a three-time world champion and a World Series
hero. But when he was still a college student at the University of Illinois, he wasn't at
all certain that he would even go into baseball professionally.
The talent, of course, was always clearly present. As a high school star in St. Louis,
Ken was selected the Most