Bailey shares more than No. 34 with Ryan
With second no-no, righty joins select list headed by no-hitter king
CINCINNATI -- Reds pitcher Homer Bailey was assigned No. 34 when he was first called up to the Majors in 2007. It wasn't the number Bailey wanted, but it's no coincidence that it's the same number that belonged to Nolan Ryan.
"I wear it because of Stowe," said Bailey, referring to Reds clubhouse manager Rick Stowe. "He gave it to me."
Bailey wanted either Nos. 21 or 22 -- especially since he had worn both in the Minors. But in 2007 for the Reds, first baseman Scott Hatteberg wore No. 21, while first-base coach Billy Hatcher had No. 22.
Stowe had Ryan in mind when issuing No. 34, since he wore it for both the Rangers and Astros from 1980-93.
"Texas boy, I gave him 34 for that," Stowe said.
Bailey and Ryan now have even more in common after Bailey threw the second no-hitter of his career with a 3-0 win over the Giants on Tuesday at Great American Ball Park. They are each one of 31 pitchers to ever throw multiple no-hitters. Ryan had seven of them in his Hall of Fame career. Bailey is also responsible for the Major Leagues' last two no-hitters, with his other coming against the Pirates on Sept. 28, 2012.
Ryan did that also in 1974-75.
"He's only got five more to go," Stowe said with a laugh. "He should have that in another couple of years, right?"
Upon getting Gregor Blanco to ground out to third base to complete this no-hitter, Bailey was mobbed at the mound and doused by a bucket of Gatorade, a liquid that was fittingly the color red. A teammate also got him in the face with a shaving cream pie during a postgame interview on the field.
Once Bailey was inside the clubhouse, all of those wet uniform pieces had to be assembled for posterity. Stowe immediately went to work.
"As soon as he came in, head to toe, he took everything off," Stowe said. "Shoes, socks, all the way up to his hat. We took it. We went ahead and got everything authenticated. Every ball that was used in tonight's game was authenticated by MLB. We've got everything, the lineup cards and dugout cards."
Bailey will have some keepsakes, but several of the items will go straight to the Reds Hall of Fame to be put on display for visitors.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame also makes requests.
"Cooperstown will get the shoes, eventually," Stowe said. "Right now, he only has the one pair of spikes.
"The glove is the same glove he used last year. They did an indelible ink last year and did it again this year to authenticate the glove. Eventually, they'll be able to [tell] it's the same glove he used. He's got two [no-hitters] in that glove. That's pretty cool."