On May 5, 2021, Baltimore Orioles twirler John Means tossed the first Orioles one-pitcher, no-hitter since Jim Palmer in 1969.
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But, you have to go all the way back to 1886 to get to the very first Baltimore Orioles no-hitter.
Before I tell you 12 things you should know about Matt Kilroy, the 1886 pitcher who did that, let’s get any dreamy-eyed 1886 nonsense out of the way.
There are no “good old days.” You might think you missed out on something special, but you didn’t.
1886 was lousy. It was unsafe. It was unsanitary. And, the average lifespan in the United States was 39.
Albert Pujols, 41. Nelson Cruz, 40. Yadier Molina, 38. You get my point.
It was tuberculosis that probably got you. Or, rabid mad dogs in New York City. Or, a horse fell on you or a carriage ran over you. Or a bridge or building collapsed on you. Or your entire town burned down with you in it.
Or, you were a child, which was extremely dangerous. As John Graunt, the 17th-century founder of demography sweetly put it: “Being a child was to forever be on the brink of death.”
You think wearing a mask for a year was a bother?
Stop your whimpering.
Try living through the recurring epidemics of cholera, typhoid, typhus, scarlet fever, smallpox, and yellow fever that mowed down Baltimore, Boston, Memphis, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington, DC, over and over and over between 1865 and 1873.
And, if you did live through the latest epidemic – and you probably didn’t, but if you did – chances are, unless you were awfully rich, you lived in a house with no hot water, no shower, and – this is important – no toilet.
If you think the most important room in your house is your man cave, you are wrong. It is your bathroom. And, you should go in there right now, get down on your knees, and thank the modern gods for installing one in your house.
Good Things That Happened in 1886 Continue reading →