Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Major league baseball: Lefty Herb Score from Lake Worth High School and sports columnist Dave George at the Post.

“If you’ve been reading my work in the Post for a while, and bless you if that’s so, I like to think that we’ve all grown up a little bit together.”

Quote. Dave George retired from the Post in April 2018; he began working for the Post in 1978. At the end of this blog post is George’s goodbye message to his loyal readers.

One of George’s massive collection of stories is about a left-handed pitcher from Lake Worth High School.

“Herb Score is the toughest pitcher I’ve faced. I just can’t hit him.”

Mickey Mantle.

This is just an incredible and true story about a
former pitcher from Lake Worth High School
who made it into the big leagues.

To read the entire article by sports reporter Dave George at The Palm Beach Post click on this link.

LAKE WORTH – There is a way to tell the story of Herb Score that doesn’t begin with the sensational lefty being struck in the eye by a line drive and, in that instant, forfeiting the kind of momentum that carried Sandy Koufax, his contemporary, all the way to Cooperstown. 
     You could start instead at a Dairy Queen that no longer exists in downtown Lake Worth, where Herb worked as a teenager and always made sure his friends got an extra scoop.

and. . .

      The scene was Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium, a cavernous Depression-Era structure long since demolished and dumped into Lake Erie, piece by piece, to make an artificial reef. On this Tuesday afternoon, however, the place was alive and buzzing for a visit by Mickey Mantle and the defending World Series champion New York Yankees. 
     Cleveland Indians fans were more wound up than worried. 
     Their starting pitcher, 23-year-old Herb Score, was coming off consecutive shutout victories over the Yankees the previous season. In his two full seasons in the major leagues, Score had a 3-1 record against the game’s most glittering franchise, with 54 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings pitched against the Yankees, and with Mantle’s endorsement as the toughest American League left-hander that he faced.

Here’s more about Herb Score from the Baseball Almanac, “Herb Score Stats”:

After Score’s first two seasons he appeared headed to the Hall of Fame. He was the whole package. He threw a blazing fastball and a nasty curve. George Kell said of Score’s curve, “If he throws it over the plate you’re dead, because you’ve always got to set yourself for his fast ball.”
     Although Score’s fastball was never clocked, A.L. umpires had a rule of thumb for estimating a pitcher’s velocity. Former ump Larry Napp once stated, ‘The faster the pitcher, the more foul balls are hit in the stands. About for balls are used in an average game. When Score pitches, we need at least an extra dozen.’ ”

—Author Rich Marazzi in Baseball Players of the 1950s: A Biographical Dictionary of All 1,560 Major Leaguers

The legendary Herb Score passed away
on November 11th, 2008.

In conclusion, Dave George writes in April 2018,

Here’s my final post to Dave’s Digital Domain, a blog that started three years ago because those of us in the newspaper business have been pretty much told to blog or die. [emphasis added]

I’m retiring this week after 40 years at the Palm Beach Post, so the blogging and the tweeting and all the other digital doodling will cease forthwith, at my choice, just like stepping away from a great company that has taken good care of me and my family since 1978 is my choice. Considering the way things have been going in the industry it’s a real pleasure to be able to say that.

To read George’s “Here’s my goodbye with many thanks” click on this link.