On this date 70 years ago, Cardinals pitcher Hank Gornicki threw a one-hitter in his major league debut against the Phillies to win 6-0 at Shibe Park.
A reed-thin 6-foot-1 righty, Gornicki was 30 years old and he got his first taste of the big leagues.He struck out five Phillies and walked five more. But the only base hit he allowed came to Philadelphia right fielder Stan Benjamin.
Gornicki nursed a one-run lead until the seventh inning when the Redbirds scored four times to break the game open. Terry Moore, Johnny Mize, Enos Slaughter and Frank "Creepy" Crespi each collected a pair of hits for St. Louis.
Despite his impressive performance, the Cardinals never let Gornicki start another game in 1941. He made four relief appearances before being sold to the Cubs. He made only one appearance for the Cubs and they let him go. Gorecki caught on with the Pirates in 1942 and was 5-6 with a 2.57 ERA in 25 starts. He was 9-13 with a 3.98 ERA in 1943 when he accomplished another baseball rarity.
Gornicki was the winning pitcher in both games of a double header while pitching for the Pirates in 1943. He started the first game and then came into the second game in the ninth.
In 1944 and 1945 Gornicki served in the Army during World War Two. He tried to make a comeback in 1946 but made it into only seven games before he retired and went to work for the United States Postal Service in Palm Beach, Fla.