On this day in sports history, Florida Marlins, now known as the Miami Marlins, starting pitcher Al Leiter tossed the first no-hitter in franchise history. On May 11, 1996, the Marlins franchise was only three years old, but Leiter was not about to let much time pass before he accomplished one of Major League Baseball’s rare feats.
The left-hander was the wildest pitcher during the 1995 season in which he led the majors in wild pitches (14) and walks (108) as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. Even though Leiter led the big leagues in walks (119) for the second consecutive season in 1996, it was a far better year than 1995 for the 19-year player.
Leiter was voted to his first All-Star game and finished ninth in the Cy Young Award voting in 1996. However, the best part of the season was what occurred on May 11.
Leiter struck out six batters and walked only two on his way to etching his name in the Marlins’ record book. He did manage to beam Ellis Burks, but he sat down the last 20 batters he faced to clinch the no-hitter.
The New Jersey native went on to win 16 games that season, which was the second most in his career. He also posted career highs in strikeouts (200) and innings pitched (215 1/3). It was not until the following season that Leiter helped the Marlins win the organizations first World Series in franchise history. It would be Leiter’s third ring after he won two with the Blue Jays in 1992 and 1993.