20 years ago today: Phillies right-hander Tommy Greene throws no-hitter


May 23, 1991

Making just his second start of the season, the Phillies’ Tommy Greene, a former first-round pick of the Braves with six major league victories to his credit, pitched a no-hitter against the Expos, striking out 10 and walking seven in the process.

Facing the Expos again five days later, he hurled a second straight shutout, allowing three hits, walking none and striking out nine in what could be argued was an even better performance.  He threw 130 pitches in the no-hitter, as opposed to 110 in the second shutout.

In all, Greene allowed one run over 31 innings during the month of May.  He went on to finish the season 13-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 207 2/3 innings, a total he reached despite pitching out of the bullpen for six weeks.

Unfortunately, it was one of only two healthy seasons Greene would have as a major leaguer.  After throwing 120 pitches eight times in 1991, including 136 and 133 in September outings, he went 3-3 with a 5.32 ERA in a 1992 season in which he was limited by shoulder problems.

Healthy again in 1993, he went 16-4 with a 3.42 ERA to finish sixth in the NL Cy Young balloting.  However, he was a major bust in the postseason, giving up 17 runs over 11 2/3 innings in his three starts. In his lone World Series outing, he allowed seven runs in 2 1/3 innings in Game 4.  The Phillies overcame his struggles and took a 12-7 lead in the fifth inning, only to eventually lose to the Blue Jays 15-14.

Suffering from more shoulder problems, Greene won just two major league games after 2003.  He retired at age 30 after a 1997 season spent primarily with Houston’s Triple-A affiliate.

Giants fans will have to pay a surcharge to park at Athletics games

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Athletics president Dave Kaval is ready to take full advantage of the interleague series between the Giants and A’s this season. While the two teams customarily play a few preseason “Battle of the Bay” games each year, they’re also scheduled to meet each other six times during the regular season; once for a three-game set in San Francisco, then for a three-game set in Oakland. On Saturday, Kaval announced that any Giants fans looking to park at the Coliseum this year will be charged $50 instead of the standard, general admission $30 — an additional “rivalry fee” that can be easily waived by shouting, “Go A’s!” at the gate.

This isn’t the first time that a major-league team has tried to keep rival fans at bay, though Kaval doesn’t seem all that intent on actually driving fans away from the ballpark. Back in 2012, the Nationals staged a “Take Back the Park” campaign after people began complaining that Phillies fans were overtaking Nationals Park during rivalry games. They limited a single-series presale of Nats-Phillies tickets to buyers within Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia in hopes of filling the stands with a few more friendly faces. Washington COO Andy Feffer told the press that while he would treat all guests with “respect and courtesy,” he wanted Phillies fans to feel irked enough to pay attention to the Nationals. In the end, things went… well, a little south for all involved.

Whether the Giants are planning any retaliatory measures has yet to be seen, but it’s not as if this is going to be an enforceable rule. The real travesty here, if you’re an A’s fan or just pretending to be one, is that the parking fees have increased from $20 to $30 this season. Unless you’re a season ticket holder with a prepaid $10 parking permit, it’s far better to brave the crowds and take advantage of local public transportation. There are bound to be far fewer irate Giants fans on BART than at the gates — even if the gag only lasts a few days out of the year.