In the weeks to come, PlayBall! – Alameda’s Sandlot Blog will chronicle many amazing pitching performances turned in over the years. Along with the shutouts and no-hitters you’ll also read about some of the less than stellar outings atop the hill. One such game occurred in late July 1970. Here’s the scoop…
When the Edison Indians traveled to Godfrey Park to meet the host Rodents in a Pee-Wee League showdown, they had no idea they were about to enter the ARPD record books. Steve Garrett took the mound for Godfrey and looked sharp against the Tribe striking out the side in the first two stanzas. His young counterpart, Ray Snider, was not as fortunate. Six burrowing mammals scored in his first two innings of work. But that’s when the tide turned.
Garrett would suddenly experience what can only be described as a Jekyll and Hyde performance over the next two innings. No fewer than fifteen runs would cross the plate as one Indian after another was issued a free pass. When Garrett did manage to record a “K”, his exhausted catcher, Karl Wilkenson, dropped a few third strikes allowing more of the indigenous ones to reach base and light up the overworked scoreboard. If that wasn’t enough, opposing catcher Marty Pere unloaded a blast with the sacks full, hanging a grand slam on the befuddled Garrett. Before Steve would end the fourth inning by recording his 17th strikeout, he would be charged with 22 base-on-balls and a pitch count of at least 129 tosses… likely more. This was as wild a boxscore as as anyone will ever see posted by a single hurler of record.
But wait. There’s more to this Hitchcock story.
As incredible as Steve Garrett’s numbers were, his opponent’s are even more unbelievable. Ray Snider would give up only three hits and record 11 fans of his own. Unfortunately, command was not always riding his wing. Snider would also walk a mind boggling total of 24 Godfrey Rodents before giving way to reliever Vincent Rodriguez in the sixth inning. Weary backstop Karl Wilkenson somehow managed to collect all three Godfrey hits, including a bases clearing double.
As incredible as it may sound, Steve Garrett would record the victory in this 17-15 display of how to play base-on-balls. Someone had to lose this game. On this day, poor Ray Snider would take one in the “L” column.
Both teams could have left their bats at home. In all, 46 base-on-balls were tallied, to go along with 40 strikeouts.
It should be noted that Rodent fireman, Pat Regan, came on to pitch two scoreless innings WITHOUT giving up a single free pass. He must have looked like Greg Maddux to whoever was fortunate enough to be assigned umpire duties for this most-tilted of tilts. After the game, the understated Godfrey coach Dave “Fireball” Owdom had this to say: “Walks were the story.” Right you are, Dave.
And that dear readers, is the rest of this story!