"No-Hitter Night' is just that for Mariners' minor-leaguer Balabon

Published June 18, 1990|Updated Oct. 17, 2005

In a way, Seattle Mariners owner Jeff Smulyan was right: He predicted a no-hitter and one of his players came through. But it didn't happen with Nolan Ryan or Matt Young at "Guaranteed No-Hitter Night." Instead, it happened thousands of miles from the Kingdome and a long way from the major leagues.

Rick Balabon pitched a seven-inning no-hitter Saturday for the Mariners' Class A Peninsula team against Frederick, winning 4-0 in the first game of a Carolina League doubleheader.

"To me, that was an amazing, truly amazing coincidence," said Stuart Layne, the Mariners' vice president of marketing.

In the Kingdome, the third largest crowd of the season _ 37,248 _ watched Ryan go against Young in one of the zaniest promotion nights of the season. But it was Young who dominated, pitching a three-hitter in a 5-0 victory.

Fans attending the game won free general admission tickets _ worth $4.50 _ to the Mariners' July 11 game against California at the Kingdome.

But Balabon has been the talk of the Seattle organization. Before he pitched, his mother suggested he throw a no-hitter as a Father's Day present.

"This is great," the 24-year-old Balabon said. "I can't wait to call my folks. They'll have a heart attack."

Chisox investigating Yankees

CHICAGO _ Chicago White Sox general manager Larry Himes said Sunday the club is continuing an investigation that could lead them to file tampering charges against the New York Yankees.

It was reported last week that prior to this month's draft, the Yankees talked to pitcher Alex Fernandez, who became Chicago's No.

1 selection. The New York Daily News said the Yankees spoke to Fernandez, a junior from Miami-Dade South, in an attempt to convince him to hold out for a guaranteed roster spot with the White Sox if Chicago drafted him.

Hall of Famer and graduate

HAYWARD, Calif. _ Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, in cap and gown, came through this weekend in a promise he made his mom before signing his first professional contract nearly three decades ago.

Morgan, 46, graduated with 2,565 others from California State University at Hayward on Saturday. His mother and father were among the family members in the audience.

Looking back 27 years, the second baseman recalled how "my father wanted me to sign. My mother wanted me to continue my education. I promised her I would get my degree."

Morgan added witha chuckle, "I didn't say when."

Hey, who's this on the mound?

CHICAGO _ Oakland Athletics rookie Steve Howard, playing in his first major-league game Saturday night, wasn't even aware that the pitcher he was facing in the eighth inning wasn't really a pitcher _ it was Chicago White Sox utilityman Steve Lyons.

"The guys played a joke on me, Howard said. "During the game (won by the A's 12-3) they were telling me what type of stuff each pitcher had, but when Lyons came in, no one said anything. If I had known, I would have taken a few more pitches."

Lyons fanned Howard with a man on first.

Bumps and bruises . . .

Jay Buhner of the Mariners suffered a broken bone in his right forearm in Saturday night's 5-0 victory over Texas. Buhner, who was hit by a pitch by Brad Arnsberg in the seventh inning, is expected to be out eight weeks.

Yankees second baseman Steve Sax missed Sunday's game with a slightly sprained right ankle. His status is listed as day-to-day.

Milwaukee's Paul Molitor sat out of Sunday's game because of a jammed left index finger sustained Saturday night. X-rays of Molitor's finger were to be examined today.

Steve Howe was released Sunday from the hospital.

_ Compiled from Associated Press reports.