In 1982 Bret Saberhagen pitched his Grover Cleveland Cavaliers (Reseda, CA) to the Los Angeles High School City Title over Palisades at Dodger Stadium – throwing the first-ever no-hitter in the championship game.
After being drafted by the Royals in the 19th round of the 1982 June Draft, Saberhagen made his professional debut in 1983 minor league stops with the Fort Myers Royals and Jacksonville Suns.
Note: Bret Saberhagen spent his entire minor league career with the Royals organization in the state of Florida. In Jacksonville he first teamed up with fellow Royals Hall of Famer Mark Gubicza (the team didn’t win their division, finishing second to the Savannah Braves).
On April 19, 1984 – in his first major league start – Bret Saberhagen collected his first win with a 5-2 decision over Detroit at Tiger Stadium. The first win is always a special accomplishment, but this was even more so because of the situation.
The 1984 Detroit Tigers were the best team in baseball from start to finish. They won their first nine games. After forty games they stood at an amazing 35-5. They finished the year 104-58 and never spent a day out of first place. They swept the ALCS (against the surprise AL West Champion Royals as it turned out) and won the World Series in fives games against the San Diego Padres.
But the vaunted Tigers first loss of the season came at the hands of a 19 year-old pitcher in his first big league start less than two years removed from being the ace of the Grover Cleveland Cavaliers. Just a short twenty-six years ago today…
(Curt Nelson, Director – Royals Hall of Fame)