Results tagged ‘ baseball ’

Dalkowski: Fastest Pitcher Ever?

the code.jpgRight now, I am reading the book The Code: Baseball’s Unwritten Rules and Its Ignore-at-Your-Own-Risk Code of Conduct by Ross Bernstein. It’s a facinating book, very interesting. In this book, I discovered the story of a pitcher named Steve Dalkowski.

He was a minor league pitcher from the late 1950s to the early 1960s. He is considered by some to be the fastest pitcher ever. It was reported that his fastball reached 110 mph, but others think it was only 105 mph. Thing is, the radar guns back then were not that good, so there are very few accurate readings of him.

He was never able to get to the majors because though he was very fast, he was also very wild. In 1960, he had 262 strikeouts in the California League. But he also gave up 262 walks!

When he was first signed by the Orioles, he threw a pitch that took off a part of a hitter’s ear and gave him a concussion. He would stand 15 feet away from a wooden fence and throw a pitch through it. He also threw a ball over a fence 440 feet away.

Though he was insanely fast (many players were utterly scared of him), he was terribly wild. Some think that his confidence deteriorated because he was scared about killing someone with his pitches. Evidently, he hurt his arm in his first major league call-up, and never came back effectively. The rest of his story is pretty sad. He had major problems with alcohol. He was placed in Walnut Hill Care Center in 1994. He has since been able to stay sober, but is still suffering from the effects of his alcoholism.

He was certainly very fast, and he had a very interesting career. Here are some facts on Steve Dalkowski:

  • One time in a minor league game, he threw three pitches that went through the backstop.
  • When he was in high school, he threw a no-hit shutout…with 18 strikeouts and 18 walks.
  • One time, he struck out 27 batters but walked 16. He threw 283 pitches. (I think that was an extra inning game)
  • Another time, he got pulled out of the game in the second inning after throwing 120 pitches.
  • When he was in the Northern League, he threw a one-hitter but lost 9-8.
  • At Stockton, he threw a pitch that knocked an umpire back 18 feet, broke his mask in three places, and put him in the hospital for three days with a concussion.
  • In a game in the California League, he walked nine batters, gave up only 4 hits, and struck out 19. But he lost 8-3.

Some pretty crazy stuff there!

Chargers Win!!

On Saturday night, the Chargers did it. It wasn’t easy, but they got it done.

The Chargers weren’t favored to win this game against the Colts. Even some of the Chargers fans that I know weren’t sure if San Diego could pull it off. But the stadium was packed on Saturday night, and the fans were the 12th player.

The game was incredible. The Chargers had a few leads, thanks to touchdowns by the injured LaDanian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles. LT left the game soon after his touchdown. But the Colts came back and took the lead, 17-14. In the second half, the Chargers were not doing well. They were making fumbles and bad calls and plays. As the end of the 4th quarter neared, it seemed unlikely for the home team to come back. But then the Chargers hit a good field goal, and the game was tied. It went into overtime soon after.

Six minutes and twenty seconds into overtime, Darren “little big man/lightning bug” Sproles had the ball. And he had a path to the end zone. He dodged a few guys and blew by them, running 22 yards to win the game, 23-17.

This guy has just been incredible. He’s only five-foot-six, and he weighs 181. But he can run, and he has really been stellar as LT’s backup. He did have a fumble in the fourth quarter, right next to the end zone, so you know he was really for redemption. And he got it. 

It was very exciting. I listened most of the game, trying again to figure out what was going on. But I got it. The Chargers won. It still seems kind of unbelievable that they actually pulled it off. They are moving onto the next round, after beating the team that was considered one of their biggest obstacles in the playoffs. And let me tell you, the Chargers are really hot right now. They are on a 5-game winning streak. They just seem to get even better game after game. I don’t see how anything can stop them, even without LT.  

Now they will play the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. I don’t know if they can win that game. It is very unlikely that they will have LT to play, but Sproles seems to be doing a good job in his place. Besides, they can win without LT. We’ll just have to see how they do.

In other news, the Padres website has a new article: Quiet Padres are not done reloading!! Well, what do you know?? I think lots of people are desperate for something new. So, they just take old news and try to apply it to right now. That article was basically restating that Kevin Towers said that they will be getting players in late January to early February. So, we will still be making moves! How exciting. I am really ready for baseball. Go Padres! and Chargers!