Wise had memorable '71 season on mound, at plate

Wise had memorable '71 season on mound, at plate

There have been a lot of great pitching performances by the Phillies. Generally, the names that come to the forefront included Grover Cleveland Alexander, Robin Roberts, Steve Carlton and Roy Halladay.

Not to be overlooked are three gems turned in by 25-year-old Rick Wise during the 1971 season, the first at Veterans Stadium. These came not only from his right arm, but his potent bat.

Wise finished 17-14 with a 2.88 ERA in 37 starts for a last-place team (66-96). It was the best season of his seven-year Phils career. Wise was the star and the team's lone selection to the National League team for the All-Star Game.

Gem No. 1
On the night of Wednesday, June 23, Wise did something no one had done up to that date -- and it hasn't been duplicated since. Wise became the first pitcher to hit two home runs while hurling a no-hitter. He did it in a 4-0 win against the Cincinnati Reds at Riverfront Stadium. Only a sixth-inning walk to Davey Concepcion kept Wise from a perfect game.

Leading, 1-0, after two innings, Wise took care of the rest of the offense with a two-run homer in the fifth inning and a solo shot in the eighth.

"I had two other home runs going into that game so I wasn't surprised. I always swung the bat pretty well and tried to help myself," recalled Wise.

"The first home run came off Ross Grimsley, a high slider. The second on a 2-0 fastball off Clay Carroll -- one of the top relievers of that time. He fell behind in the count. I looked at the third-base coach and he wasn't even looking at me, so I knew the green light was on. I hit it almost the same place as the first one."

The final out was a line drive by Pete Rose to third baseman John Vukovich. Wise's record stood at 8-4.

Time of game for this gem: one hour, 53 minutes.

Gem No. 2
Wise's 14th win came in the second game of a Veterans Stadium twi-night doubleheader against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday, August 28. Wise drove in five runs on a solo home run and a game-winning grand slam in a 7-3 win.

Tied at 2-2, Wise hit a solo home run in the fifth inning off John Cumberland. Two innings later, with the game tied at 3, Wise hit a grand slam off Don McMahon.

On the mound that night, he allowed eight hits and two walks and struck out 11. One of the runs was unearned.

Gem No. 3
Wise's 16th win came on Saturday, Sept. 18, against the Chicago Cubs, also at the Vet. In this game, he retired 32 consecutive batters -- four short of the Major League record. No Phillies pitcher has come close to this in a single game. Oh, Curt Simmons, Roberts, Jim Bunning and Halladay each had games in which they retired 27 consecutive batters, but no one has gone beyond that.

A home run leading off the second inning by catcher Frank Fernandez gave the Cubs a 3-0 lead. Wise didn't allow another base runner until Ron Santo singled with two out in the 12th inning.

Once again, Wise's bat came into play. He was 3-for-6 and drove in the winning run. With a runner on third with one out, Don Money and Ron Stone were walked intentionally to get to Wise, who followed with a walk-off single to right for a 4-3 decision.

"The best part about that game was that I fell behind, 3-0, on a two-run homer in the first and a solo home run in the second," said Wise. "I got a visit from pitching coach [Ray Rippelmeyer] and then retired 32 in a row."

Wise's pitching line: 12 innings, five hits, three runs (two earned), zero walks and 10 strikeouts. He faced 41 batters.

Wise finished his Phils career with a 74-75 mark. His first start came as an 18-year-old in an 8-2 win over the New York Mets in the second game of a June 21, 1964, doubleheader at Shea Stadium. It followed Bunning's perfect game.

Wise grew up in Portland, Ore., and led his team to the Little League World Series in 1958. With the Boston Red Sox in '75, he pitched in the World Series and was the third player to play in both World Series.

Also, while pitching for the Red Sox, Wise lost a no-hitter with two out in the bottom of the ninth in Milwaukee when George Scott homered. Bobby Darwin followed with a solo home run, and Wise ended up with a two-hitter.

Larry Shenk is the vice president of Alumni Relations for the Phillies. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.