There is a particular moment that stands out in the lore of Norm Cash, one that is so absurd and wonderful that you don’t believe it can be true until you actually see it. It occurred on July 15, 1973 in old Tiger Stadium, when the incomparable Nolan Ryan — then with the California Angels — was blowing through the Detroit Tigers en route to his second career no hitter.
Norm Cash, the Tigers irascible first baseman (lovingly known as “Stormin’ Norman”), was fed up by being struck out by Ryan. After three strikeouts in the game, he’d had enough. He got a table leg from the locker room and headed off to home plate to take his swings. When he was informed by the umpire, Ron Luciano, that he couldn’t use it, he replied “Why not? I won’t hit him anyway.”
Norm Cash attempting to use a Table Leg to hit against Nolan Ryan.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) October 31, 2018
[2nd No hitter/17k game/1973] pic.twitter.com/3CXa5Q05pL
It is an iconic and absurd moment that we rarely get to see live footage of.
As for Ryan? He didn’t even blink, and went on to get the no-no. His second of seven career no hitters.