The White Sox’s best threat came in the second inning, when they loaded the bases with two outs before Feller fanned rookie Bob Kennedy to end the frame.
“He was never a better pitcher (than in the no-hitter),” said Hemsley, Cleveland’s regular catcher in both 1939 and 1940. “He’s got everything.”
Feller experienced his toughest test of the game in the ninth inning, facing future Hall of Famer Luke Appling with two outs. Appling, a career .310 hitter known for his ability to foul off pitches, wasted four of Feller’s best offerings before drawing a two-out walk after a 10-pitch at-bat. But with Appling representing the tying run on first base, Indians second baseman Ray Mack made a diving stop on a ball hit to his left by the Sox’s Taffy Wright, throwing out the Chicago outfielder to end the game.
“I think I’ve thrown faster several times,” Feller said following the game. “Of course, the wind behind me helped make me faster. But I couldn’t seem to throw a curve very well.”
It didn’t matter. Feller’s legendary fastball was more than enough.
Five days later, Feller took the mound in an attempt to tie Johnny Vander Meer’s 1938 mark of back-to-back no-hitters. But in one of his few subpar performances of the season, the Detroit Tigers touched Feller for four hits and two walks in three innings in a 12-2 loss.