Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Phil Nevin looks at the list, which includes his name, and chuckles. In a quirk of baseball history, Nevin, the Yankees' third-base coach who played 12 seasons in the Majors, sits alongside luminaries such as Hank Aaron and Ted Williams in this particular group of players.
"I probably wish I was on another list that they're on," Nevin jokes.
True, but Nevin is enough of a student of baseball lore to appreciate this slice of trivia in spite of what it is. Nevin, along with Hammerin' Hank and the Splendid Splinter, is among the 11 known players to make the final out in two different no-hitters, according to research by the YES Network's James Smyth.
Eugenio Suarez of the Reds made the final out Tuesday night in the no-hitter thrown by Oakland's Mike Fiers to join a group that also includes Jason Bartlett, Hank Bauer, Harvey Kuenn, Bill North, Del Pratt, Chase Utley and Rollie Zeider. Suarez made the last out of Jake Arrieta's 2016 no-no, too.
Nevin, now 48, is no stranger to baseball flukes. He was drafted first overall in 1992 by Houston, the same year the Yankees took a shortstop named Derek Jeter with the sixth pick. Throw this in there, too - Nevin worked with Suarez in the minors when Suarez was a Detroit farmhand, and Nevin managed in the Tigers' system.
"There are so many things out there that are just interesting facts about the game," Nevin says. "I had no idea there were that many more people who had done it. I may have even embellished it a time or two, saying I was the only one."
Nevin made the final outs in no-hitters tossed only a few months apart in 2001: A.J. Burnett's on May 12 and the one Bud Smith threw that Sept. 3.
"I remember them well, but I don't know if it has any meaning behind it," Nevin says. "I've told the stories a few times, making the last outs of no-hitters so close together."
Against Burnett, Nevin was working his way back from an injury and then-Padres' manager Bruce Bochy told him he'd only use him in an emergency. With two out in the ninth, Bochy summoned Nevin to pinch-hit.
"I said, 'Oh, I guess this is the emergency, eh?'" Nevin says.
"I took a good swing off A.J., but I popped it straight up. The last out of Bud Smith's, I hit a comebacker."
Nevin also played spoiler on a no-hit bid by none other than Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. As a member of the Detroit Tigers, he led off the bottom of the eighth inning on June 8, 1997, with a single off the Big Unit.
Nevin, who played 1,217 big-league games for seven teams from 1995-2006, was a dangerous slugger during his career, finishing with 208 career homers, a .270 average, and an .814 OPS. In 2001, the year he made the final out twice, he hit 41 homers, drove in 126 runs, and had an .976 OPS.
Because of his draft position and the Jeter connection, Nevin is used to being part of baseball trivia.
"I hear about it every June (when the MLB draft is held), especially now that I'm here in New York," Nevin says.
But that's not why he can appreciate his small place in no-hitter lore.
"I think its just being around the game and having a passion for those things my whole life," Nevin says. "That's what draws me to it.
"I always liked finding those things out, the history and the weird things of this game…Baseball has weird stats and storylines and they're always interesting."