Haddix will always be remembered for his performance on the night of May 26, 1959. Though he didn’t feel well, he took his turn against Lew Burdette and the Braves. Haddix retired 36 consecutive batters, pitching 12 perfect innings, but his Pirate teammates didn’t score. In the 13th, Milwaukee’s leadoff batter, Felix Mantilla, reached first on third baseman Don Hoak‘s error and was then sacrificed to second. The tiring Haddix intentionally walked Hank Aaron, and Joe Adcock followed with a home run. Adcock passed Aaron on the basepath (making the final score 1-0), but the no-hitter and the game were lost. Haddix’s 12-2/3-inning, one-hit complete game was the majors’ longest ever.
Haddix led the American Association in ERA, wins, strikeouts, and complete games in 1950. After serving in the military in 1951, and pitching briefly in 1952, the wiry southpaw had a brilliant 20-9 rookie season with the Cardinals, leading the NL with six shutouts. Basically a .500 pitcher after his sophomore season, Haddix went to the Pirates from Cincinnati with Hoak and Smoky Burgess in a seven-player deal. He was in the spotlight in the 1960 World Series. After winning Game Five as a starter, he relieved in Game Seven and won when Bill Mazeroski hit his famous homer. Nicknamed “the Kitten” at St. Louis for his resemblance to Harry “the Cat” Brecheen, Haddix finished as an effective reliever for the Orioles. He later served as pitching coach for several big league clubs.