Henry's one-hitter in 1983 stands test of time

Henry's one-hitter in 1983 stands test of time

DETROIT -- Doug Henry, the Royals' bullpen coach, got a new round of texts when a one-hitter was thrown during the weekend at the College World Series in Omaha.

Henry, then a freshman at Arizona State, threw a one-hitter in the 1983 tournament to beat Maine, 7-0. So his name surfaced again.

"The hit came in the third or fourth inning," Henry said of his experience. "It was hit hard, but it was a ball that Hoz [Eric Hosmer] would have picked really easily -- but it got by our first baseman; it went under his glove.

"I didn't think anything of it -- it was smoked. But about the seventh inning [Jim] Brock, our head coach, started going to the umpire saying, 'Hey, this guy's in the middle of what should be a no-hitter -- that should've been an error.'"

In the small world department, Henry's catcher in that game was Don Wakamatsu, now the Royals' bench coach.

"I went deep in that game," Wakamatsu said, grinning.

Barry Bonds was also on that team.

At any rate, the official scorer did not change the ruling.

"After the game, they said that [Brock] was still trying to get it changed," Henry said. "But I said, 'It's too late now. I'm good with what happened, we won the game.'

"But after the game the coach of Maine, who was the coach of the USA team for the Pan American Games, invited me to come and be a member of the USA team because a couple of their pitchers got drafted, and they had some spots open. So that got me around the world that summer -- it was awesome; it was a great experience."

This year's one-hitter, by Virginia's Nathan Kirby and Artie Lewicki, was the first since 1983, but, oddly, Henry's gem was not the most recent. Later in the '83 tourney, two Alabama pitchers teamed up for a one-hitter to beat Arizona State, bumping the Sun Devils out of the tournament.

"Every once in a while I get texts from friends saying, 'Hey I was watching the College World Series and they mentioned your name,' so that's pretty cool," Henry said.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.