Friday, May 26, 2006

A King Hangs Up His Crown

The end of a dynasty.
Right at the top of our list of things to do this summer is making a trip out to see The King and His Court, the legendary barnstorming softball team that has wowed small-town American audiences for the last 60 years. Eddie Feigner, the ex-Marine with the golden arm, is hands-down the best softball pitcher in history. His fastball, listed as one of the top-10 pitches of all time by ESPN, is an urban legend of Dalkowski-like proportions. His accomplishments are second-to-none, and to be honest, we think we would burn in hell if we didn't make an attempt to see this man as he tours this great country of ours for the last time.
His touring team, The King and His Court, began as a bet: Already known for his superb pitching ability, an opposing team claimed that Eddie couldn't beat their squad with just a four-man team: A pitcher, a catcher, a first-baseman, and a "roving" shortstop. Needless to say, Eddie Feigner accepted that challenge, and in front of 400 spectators, took on that other team with just 3 players backing him up. The result?
Eddie pitched a perfect game, striking out 19 batters. His wife was the catcher.
This was the birth of the "Harlem Globetrotters of Softball." As it became more and more apparent that nobody could touch the King, Eddie and his 3 teammates began experimenting with new ways to thrill audiences.

Throw the ball really hard. That way.

Feigner began pitching blindfolded, not only from the mound but from second-base, sometimes even striking out batters from center field. Blindfolded. He also pitched from behind his back and between his legs. He would load the bases on purpose, just so he could strike out the next three batters with style. His fastball was clocked at 104 mph, but his greatest achievement has to be the show he put on at Dodger Stadium back in 1967. He struck out the following men, in order:

Willie Mays

Willie McCovey

Brooks Robinson

Maury Wills

Harmon Killebrew

Roberto Clemente

And, they were all at the peak of their careers.

Tag 'em and bag 'em.

Yesterday, off the coast of Florida, Captain Bucky Dennis caught a new world-record hammerhead shark. He and his crew fought the shark for five hours. It dragged their boat 12 miles away from shore. They fought a 1,200 pound shark for five hours! I get tired when I walk up a couple of flights of stairs, for the love of God. Good effort boys.


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