First Expo No-No

 

This Week in 1960s Baseball

(April 17, 1969) In only the tenth game of the franchise’s history, Montreal Expos hurler Bill Stoneman today pitched a no-hitter, defeating the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0.

Bill Stoneman tossed a no-hitter in only the Montreal Expos’ tenth game as a major league franchise. Stoneman finished the 1969 season at 11-19 with a 4.39 ERA.

Stoneman (1-2) faced 31 Phillies batters, walking five and striking out eight. The shutout lowered his season ERA to 2.50.

The losing pitcher was Phillies starter Jerry Johnson (0-2).

The hitting star for the Expos was right fielder Rusty Staub. Staub drove in three runs on four hits, including three doubles and his third home run of the season. The Expos also got RBIs from Ty Cline and Coco Laboy.

Stoneman was selected by the Expos as the 19th pick in the 1968 expansion draft after going a combined 2-5 in two seasons with the Chicago Cubs. He would follow his no-hit performance with another shutout five days later, blanking the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 with a six hitter. He would pitch three more shutouts by season’s end.

Stoneman emerged as the ace of the Expos’ pitching staff in the team’s inaugural season. He finished 1969 with a record of 11-19 with a 4.39 ERA. Stoneman led the team in starts (36), complete games (8), innings pitched (235.2) and strikeouts (185).

 

 

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Taking the Bate

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering John Bateman

Something about John Bateman inspired no-hit performances from his pitchers. He caught two no-hitters during his 10-season major league career … and both were firsts for the franchise. He caught his first no-hitter in 1963, as right-hander Don Nottebart hurled the first no-hitter in the history of the Houston Colt .45s. He caught his second no-hitter six years later, the first thrown by Bill Stoneman and the first in the history of the Montreal Expos.

Catcher John Bateman's best season came in 1964, when he batted .279 for the Houston Colt .45s with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs.

Catcher John Bateman’s best season came in 1964, when he batted .279 for the Houston Colt .45s with 17 home runs and 70 RBIs.

Bateman was signed by Houston in 1962 and was the team’s starting catcher a year later, batting .210 in his rookie season while leading the team with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs. He batted less than .200 in each of the next two seasons as he split Houston’s catching duties with Jerry Grote. In 1964, he returned to full-time catching again and responded with his best season as a hitter: batting .279 with 24 doubles, 17 home runs and 70 runs batted in.

Bateman wouldn’t match those kinds of hitting numbers again in Houston. He batted .190 in 1967 and .249 in 1968, and then was selected by Montreal in the National League expansion draft. He batted .209 for the Expos in 1969 and then had a strong season offensively in 1970 with 15 home runs, 68 RBIs and a .237 batting average. He hit .242 in 1971 with 10 home runs and 56 RBIs.

In June of 1972, Bateman was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Tim McCarver. He batted .224 in 1972 with three home runs and 20 RBIs, and retired after the 1972 season.

Bateman played for 10 years in the major leagues with 765 hits and a career batting average of .230.