Lightning Strikes Twice

Johnny Vander Meer and the Cincinnati Reds


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About the Book

In June of 1938, southpaw Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds became the only pitcher in Major League history to hurl two consecutive no-hitters–an achievement that has stood unsurpassed for more than 80 years. Vander Meer was just 23 at the time and a glorious future was predicted. Despite injuries, he became a four-time All-Star yet ended up a .500 pitcher–not a surefire Hall of Famer as many expected. Both the Reds and Vander Meer persevered, but decades later the left-hander is best remembered for his stunning no-hit package. This volume follows Vander Meer and the Reds through the triumphs of two National League pennants and one World Series title, the hardship of World War II, and the trying suicide of a teammate.

About the Author(s)

Lew Freedman is a long-time, prize-winning journalist for such newspapers as the Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, Anchorage Daily News and Wyoming’s Cody Enterprise. Specializing in sports and the outdoors, he has written more than 100 books. He lives in Columbus, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Lew Freedman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 203
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8157-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4108-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1. 1937: The New Look Reds 5
2. Bill McKechnie 12
3. Vander Meer Makes the Cut 18
4. Frank McCormick Long Time Coming 24
5. Ernie Lombardi 29
6. Vander Meer Pitches a ­­No-Hitter 35
7. Vander Meer Pitches a ­­No-Hitter—Another One 43
8. Aftermath 55
9. The Reds of 1938 62
10. Paul Derringer and Bucky Walters 68
11. Johnny and the Players of 1939 76
12. Johnny and the 1939 Pitching 87
13. The 1939 World Series 94
14. The 1940 Regular Season 107
15. The 1940 World Series 121
16. The Year 1941 137
17. War Changes Everything 145
18. The Reds During World War II 152
19. When Johnny—and the Reds—Came Marching Home 163
20. Double ­­No-Hit for the Rest of His Life 173
Chapter Notes 181
Bibliography 189
Index 191