On April 7, 1979, nearly a year after his brother Bob pitched a no-hitter, Houston Astros pitcher Ken Forsch tosses his first career no-hitter. Ken and Bob become the first—and only—brothers to pitch official no-hitters in Major League Baseball history.
On April 16, 1978, Bob Forsch pitched a no-hitter for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Philadelphia Phillies. Brothers Pascual and Melido Pérez pitched rain-shortened, unofficial no-hitters—Pascual in five innings for the 1988 Montreal Expos and Melido in six innings for the 1990 Chicago White Sox.
Ken, who led the Astros to a 6-0 victory in his no-hitter, had his brother’s feat on his mind by the middle of the historic game. Days before the game, the righthander was listed as questionable to start because of an insect bite that caused swelling on his left elbow. “I just told myself I was going to go out there tonight, try to keep them off balance and give it the best shot I had,” Forsch told reporters after the no-hitter.
Ken kept the Braves off balance all game, forcing ground ball out after ground ball out. After the game fittingly ended with three straight ground-ball outs in the ninth inning, Astros shortstop Craig Reynolds said, via the Houston Chronicle: “I have never seen so few balls hit hard against a pitcher in a game.”
Ken, who spent some of his career in the shadow of his younger brother, pitched 16 years in the big leagues as a starter and reliever. His career record was 114-113, and he finished with 51 saves. He also made two All-Star Game appearances.
Like his brother, Bob Forsch enjoyed a long career, the majority as a starting pitcher. Over 16 seasons, he had a 168-136 record. He won 20 games in 1977 and played for the St. Louis Cardinals World Series champions in 1982.