Fowler’s daughter recalls 1st no-hitter by Canadian pitcher
TORONTO (AP) Memories came rushing back for Candice Ballouli when she heard about the no-hitter Seattle’s James Paxton threw against Toronto.
It was the second no-no thrown in the major leagues by a Canadian. The other one, that was tossed by her dad.
Dick Fowler accomplished the feat for the Philadelphia Athletics against the St. Louis Browns at Shibe Park in the nightcap of a doubleheader on Sept. 9, 1945.
”I didn’t sleep much last night because everybody was just letting me know,” Ballouli said Wednesday. ”It was very heartwarming and really emotional.”
Announcers frequently mentioned Paxton’s Canadian roots during Tuesday night’s broadcasts and included details on Fowler’s performance from nearly 73 years ago.
Ballouli was a toddler when Fowler finished his big league career in 1952, his 10th and final season with the A’s. Reached Wednesday in Santa Clara, California, she recalled the fond memories of being bounced on her father’s knee and playing catch with him after he retired.
”It’s just amazing,” she said. ”I was surprised that it hadn’t been done since `45. It made it really special.”
Fowler struck out six and walked four in his gem. The A’s won when Hal Peck tripled leading off the bottom of the ninth and scored on Irv Hall’s single off Ox Miller.
”It was a wonderful feeling when we got that one run,” Dick Fowler was quoted as saying by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. ”I got a thrill all over.”
Fowler, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, was born in Toronto and played for the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League in 1940 before the Athletics purchased his contract later in the year. He pitched a 16-inning complete game in 1-0 loss at the Browns on June 5, 1952.
The Toronto native served with the Canadian Army for about three years during World War II, missing two seasons before returning to the Athletics in 1945. He made three relief appearances before throwing the no-hitter in front of 16,755 fans in a game that lasted just 1 hour, 15 minutes.
Lou Finney gave Fowler a scare in the ninth inning with a deep drive to right field that was foul.
”When he threw his no-hitter, that was his first game back (as a starter),” Ballouli said. ”That was always special to me.”
Fowler, who settled in Oneonta, New York, topped 200 innings per season from 1946-49. He finished 66-79 with a 4.11 ERA in 170 starts and 51 relief appearances.
”They have his no-hitter ball in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, which was always something special when I took the grandkids to go see that,” Ballouli said. ”That was always a special memory too.”
Fowler was 51 when he died in 1972. He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.
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