Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Dig this fun piece by John McGrath:

The great softball pitcher Eddie Feigner kept track of the strikeouts he amassed during a 54-year barnstorming career as namesake of The King and His Court. One number Feigner came up was 8,698.

No question that 8,698 strikeouts, as former Mariners broadcaster Ron Fairly might put it, is a lot of strikeouts — almost 3,000 more than Nolan Ryan's major-league record of 5,714. But what made the total especially impressive was that Feigner (pronounced "FAY-ner") achieved them while wearing a blindfold.

He struck out 132,812 other batters more conventionally, if "conventional" can be applied to pitches delivered behind the back, or between the legs, or from a kneeling position, or from second base.

So gifted an underhand thrower was Feigner that it's difficult to separate the legend from the myth. He was said to have delivered one pitch clocked at 114 mph, which is nonsense. The notion that a typical Feigner pitch arrived at 100 mph is almost certainly untrue, as well.

But there's no doubt about Feigner's 1967 exhibition-game performance at Dodger Stadium, where he struck out Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Willie McCovey, Maury Wills and Harmon Killebrew.


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