This Day in Baseball History

Saturday 5th of May 2012

This Day in Baseball History

This Day in Baseball History – May 5, 1962:  In the fourth win of his opening-season games, Los Angeles Angels' rookie LHP, Bo Belinsky, pitches a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles. Not only is this the first-ever no-hitter pitched by a member of the Angels, but Belinsky is also one of only two Angels to begin his career with a four-game winning streak or better.

But it ain’t always good news: Belinsky, who supposedly remarked, “If I’d known I was gonna pitch a no-hitter today, I would have gotten a haircut,” wouldn’t live up to the promise of his talent. A cocky, street kid from Trenton, NJ, Belinsky was known for his hard partying and womanizing. After a hotel fight with a sports reporter for the LA Times, the Angels suspended and then traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies. After that, he spent his time bouncing from team to team in the minors. His career W-L record was a failing 28-51, with 476 strike-outs and 4.10 ERA.

In Ross Newhan’s book, The Anaheim Angels: A Complete History, Belinsky is quoted as saying, “I came to the Angels as a kid who thought he had been pushed around by life, by minor league baseball. I was selfish and immature in a lot of ways and I tried to cover that up. I went from a major league ballplayer to hanging onto a brown bag under the bridge, but I had my moments and I have my memories. If I had the attitude about life then that I have now, I'd have done a lot of things differently. But you make your rules and you play by them. I knew the bills would come due eventually, and I knew I wouldn't be able to cover them.”

Eventually, Belinsky overcame alcoholism, becoming both a counselor and spokesman for an alcohol abuse program in Hawaii. He later worked as a car sales representative in Las Vegas where he became a born-again Christian. After battling bladder cancer, Belinsky died of a heart attack in 2001. He was 64.