The big righthander was born in Fresno in 1940, and in 1959, The Cincinnati Redlegs (Their name from 1954 to 1959) signed him. By 1963 he was a twenty game winner (actually 23), and he went on to top that mark again in his famed 1965 season.
You can't be Juan Marichal, you can't be Bob Gibson and you can't be Sandy Koufax.
Yet there were four games in the 1965 season where Jim was every bit as good as them all combined!
He first start of that season was on April 19, 1965, ten days after the Houston Astros opened their brand new indoor stadium, the Astrodome. It was the Reds (now and forever their name) 6th game of the season.
He was opposed by the Milwakee Braves.
Maloney started out fast as he fanned Mack Jones and Ty Cline. Then the dangerous Eddie Mathews was retired on a fly ball to center field.
The Reds, meanwhile, wasted no time in getting him something to work with as they touched home twice in the top of the second. Could Jim make it stand up? It would be the only two runs the Reds would score.
Making the task somewhat easier, at least now, was that Hank Aaron was not in the lineup.
With that, Jimmy mowed 'em down in the second and third, although he managed just one strikeout in that time.
In the fourth, he faltered.
Jones was k'd and Cline went out on a fly to center.
But then Mathews was walked and the batter was Joe Torre. Yes, that Joe Torre!
Wild pitch, Mathews to second.
Lee Maye ended the inning by hitting a fly to left.
So the perfect game is gone, but the no-hitter is still intact!
The fifth inning was no problem, but then came the sixth.
It started out with Wade Blasingame, the opposing pitcher (himself an 8 inning 5-hitter on this day), striking out. However, back to the top of the order and back to another walk, this time to Mack Jones.
Further trouble was diverted when both Cline and Mathews were retired on a fly to right and a pop up to first.
Blasingame, despite some troubles of his own in the top of that inning, induced three grounders to third, short and second in the top of the 7th as this game was now a full fledged pitcher's duel.
In the bottom of the 7th, Torre popped out to second, Maye fanned and Felipe Alou fouled to the catcher.
Six more outs to go.
In the top of the eight, the Reds had a chance to put this game away. Pete Rose singled, and then with one out, Vada Pinson walked. However, Frank Robinson flied out and Deron Johnson forced Rose at third. So the score was still 2-0 Reds.
Dennis Menke led off the bottom of the eighth with a single. There goes the no-hitter at last!
Maloney, calmed down and perhaps a bit relieved, focused now on winning the game.
Aaron was the all-time leader in homeruns.
Now he's second to Bonds.
He was also the all time leader in grounding into double play.
Now he is third behind Ripken and Rodriguez.
Which would he do?
Grounder to Rose. Rose steps on second and fires to first. Double play!
Lou Klimchock batted for Blasingame and flew out to center.
In the top of the 9th, Dan Osinski took over on the mound. The Reds had a shot at him.
Tony Perez led off with a single, but was caught stealing. Don Pavletich, the team's second string catcher, then doubled. Maloney came to bat and no doubt got a standing ovation from the 2, 804 fans.
He couldn't help his own cause, however, as he grounded out to first. Still just 2-0.
Three outs to go, to still get the shutout.
Maloney wasted no time. Jones went down on strikes, as did Cline.
The Braves last hope was Mathews.
Rose took his grounder and fired to Perez at first to end the game.
Sports Reference LLC. Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information. http://www.baseball-reference.com/. Web. 25 April 2011.
Total Baseball. 1994 Edition. CD-ROM. Chicago, Ill: Creative Media. 1994.
"Jim Maloney." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2011.