Most baseball fans over the age of 40 know all about Clay Kirby and Preston Gomez. Three generations of San Diego Padres followers do too. To a man (woman, boy and girl), they know about Gomez hitting for starting pitcher Kirby, three outs from immortality, down a run.

What they might not know is that Kirby came close a couple of other times as a Padre, in consecutive starts, no less; going 7 1/3 innings against the Astros on Sept. 13, 1971 without allowing a hit, and seven more versus San Francisco on Sept. 18, 1971.

Six days later, with nothing at stake but the “W,” Kirby struck out 15 Houston batters in 15 innings, in an eventual 21-inning loss to the Astros.

Meanwhile, and Phil Collier notwithstanding, no Padre has ever tossed a no-hitter.

For more on Clay Kirby, please check out these links:

Click here: Clay Kirby – BaseballLibrary.com

Click here: Clay Kirby Statistics – Baseball-Reference.com

Click here: Clay Kirby Baseball Stats – Baseball Almanac

Remember, glove conquers all.

— HOWARD COLE

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