It’s an under-appreciated day in Baltimore Orioles history today. Joe Coleman went the distance at Memorial Stadium, allowing only two hits while striking out four and walking two, to give the Orioles their first-ever complete-game shutout on May 11, 1954.
The O’s had six complete-game shutouts during their inaugural season in Baltimore; Coleman accounted for four of them – on May 11, July 2, Aug. 29, and Sept. 9. Duane Pillette and Don Larsen (yes, that Don Larsen) posted the other two complete-game shutouts for the Birds.
Coleman pitched 221.1 innings for the 1954 team with 15 complete games in 32 starts. He finished 19th in A.L. MVP voting for the 54-100 Orioles. He totaled a 13-17 record with a 3.50 ERA (3.75 FIP). He pitched less than two seasons for the O’s as he was released in July of the 1955 season.
Coleman is the eldest member of one of five three-generation baseball families. His son, Joe, was a big league pitcher for 15 seasons, and his grandson, Casey, has pitched parts of four seasons in the majors and is currently a member of the Seattle Mariners system.
The Boones became baseball’s first three-generation family when Bret reached the majors in 1992.