On July 16th, 1998, Val Pascucci threw the first no-hitter in Northwoods League history, a 9-0 victory over the Austin Southern Minny Stars. Since that day 20 other no-hitters have occurred in the Northwoods League. As a member of the Honkers in 1998, Pascucci (Oklahoma) had one of the most productive seasons in franchise history. Working both as an outfielder and pitcher, he played in all 62 games that season. He hit .289 with 11 doubles, 11 HR and 49 RBI and compiled a 2-3 record on the mound with a 3.06 ERA, 29 strikeouts and 18 walks. In addition to being named to both the mid-season and post-season All-Star teams, Pascucci earned the “Star of Stars” award as the All-Star Game MVP. In the game, he hit the eventual winning home run and then returned as the pitcher, earning the save for the South Division. At the conclusion of a season that saw Pascucci in the Honkers single season top ten in home runs, runs batted in, extra base hits and total base, he was named “Honker of the Year”.
Pascucci would go on to be drafted in the 15th round of the 1999 MLB draft. He became the first Honker to debut in the Major Leagues in 2004 when he was called up by the Montreal Expos. He played parts of two Major League seasons with the Montreal Expos in 2004 and the New York Mets in 2011. Pascucci also enjoyed a two-season stint in Japan with Chiba Lotte that included a championship in 2005 under former Mets manager Bobby Valentine. Over his 15-year professional career he hit 305 home runs and had a .263 batting average. He only pitched four times and was 0-0 with a 2.45 ERA. In 2014, he transitioned to the role of hitting coach for the Mets Lo-A affiliate, the Savannah Sand Gnats. In 2016, he was named the hitting coach for the Hi-A St. Lucie Mets.
Pascucci is currently entering his second season as hitting coach for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and his fifth overall season as a coach in the Mets system.
Check out the list of no-hitters in Northwoods League history, along with other notable records.
Visit our 25th Season Celebration page to read about other memorable moments previously released.