On June 16th of 1990 the Seattle Mariners Guaranteed a No-Hitter
The idea of the Guarantee was conceived by the Mariners promotion department as the baseball public got caught up in the excitement of the the 1990 No-Hitter Frenzy - Mark Langston had pitched one on April 11th, The Mariners own Randy Johnson June 2nd, and Nolan Ryan earlier that week.
Another impetus for the M's was that they were hosting Nolan Ryan's first start after his June 11th No-Hitter.
Had Ryan actually been able to redeem the Guaranteed No-Hitter for the Mariners he would have matched a feat only otherwise done by Johnny Vander Meer - Consecutive No-Hitters.
For their part Seattle sent out journeyman pitcher Matt Young.
The No-Hitter didn't get very far, Matt Young retired 4 batters before giving up a hit to John Russell. Harold Reynolds got the first hit off of Ryan in the bottom of the 3rd.
Despite being the significantly less noteworthy pitcher Matt Young was the closest of the two to get a no-hitter. Young pitched the last of 5 career shutouts only allowing 3 hits (Russell, Ruben Sierra, and Rafael Palmiero) all singles.
The promotion worked for the Ms, The 37,248 fans they drew to the Kingdome may seem pedestrian now, but it was the 4th best attendance number for the 1990 Mariners. It was also the most fans that got to see a Mariners win.
Note: In a practice common in Minor League Games the Mariners Guaranteed No-Hitter Game came with the caveat that if there was not a no-hitter, fans would get a free ticked to a future game. The free ticket was a $4.50 General Admission ticket to the July 11th game versus the Angels. The Mariners won that game as well. It was a 2-1 victory by Erik Hanson over the aforementioned no-hit pitcher Mark Langston. It doesn't appear many fans took advantage of the no-hit redemption as 18,357 which was a tick below the teams 18,638 average for the season.
I like this card, it was issued the season after Ryan retired. Topps noted his career accomplishments by placing Ryan on card #34, his uniform number.
Sources & Links
1990 Year of the No-Hitter Index
baseball card database