The Game Lives Forever, The Stories Never End
Best memories during my baseball time...
We had a 9 pm game for the Jo Co 3&2 Summer league baseball. This was way back during the Summer of 1971.
Weather was perfect that night for me to pitch a 7-inning game. My umpire's name was Sonny Maynard who was also a head coach for JCCC baseball. I liked the way he called the strikes, etc. He had great expressions.
The game was still 0-0. Our team had bases loaded two different times. I was not a good hitter and I had wished I could bunt to get the runner to score.
Past 7th 8th 9th and 10 innings, the score was still 0-0. I walked a guy during 10th inning and the umpire checked his time as it was past midnight. Umpire called the game to stop and told both teams that we had to finish the game next time we play again.
As I walked into the dugout, my head coach was telling me "Jim: you pitched a darn good game for 10 innings. Your father should have been here to see you pitch a great game. Do you know what you were doing?? You were pitching a "NO HITTER" the whole 10 innings!!" Then, I told the coach we should have a run to WIN the game. (Umpire Sonny Maynard came to me said I pitched a great game and asked me if I would like to play for the JCCC baseball team).
Next day I told my dad about what the coach said to me about me pitching a no-hitter game for 10 innings. I asked him."What's the big deal about no-hitter??". My father looked at me and asked me. "You never heard about "no-hitter" games? Go to library and get a book about Sandy Koufax!!". After I read the book about Sandy Koufax who had pitched four no-hitter games and later on I learned about Nolan Ryan who pitched 7 no-hitter games. I became more concerned and little nervous when I was pitching other game while I was pitching no hitter games! In 1974 I pitched a 1 hitter game for SM Northwest high school team and week later pitched a 2 hitter game!!
I am in Okinawa on a try out for the Kadena Falcons in 1968. The team is filled with pros drafted already and playing out their military option by playing baseball. What a life. Cassious Clay could have done this and avoideda lot of trouble. I told the coach played left field and pitched. One of the guys in my squad happened to be there as an observer. Trust me when I say it was a bit intimidating as these guys all knew each other and very comfortable.
They asked me to hit left field and to hit the cut off man at shortstop. No problem. They hit several one hoppers, flys, and line drives. All was good and I was on like nobodys business. It was all business to me. The shortstop called the coach after a few catches and told the coach the ball was coming super fast and he was sure I was and should be pitching.
Coach pulled me and asked me to warm up. I warmed up and threw a few sharp cutting fast balls. I mean fast! He backed up....
Now they had a left hander from the Yankees who was a big hitter. He was pretty cocky but he should have been. He was the hitter.
I set him down in four pitches. Within the hour I either struck out or forced grounders on their entire starting line up.
After all this and the hubub was we got a new Ace on the team, the Colonel called me and assiged a Hatcho ( That is my own personal health steward whose job it was to massage my arm, shine me shoes or whatever. Never felt so good in all my life. I called my mother and told her i was about to make an impact in baseball for the Air Force. She was pleased.
Now it was not known by my commander what I did, so I had to keep it on the down low. Yet the buzz was on and for that day and until i ruptured the bursa sack in my pitching arm, I was enjoying baseball like never before. Inkilled them with my cuve ball which I learned from Diego Seguie. I told Diego that when he came to the Negro Leagues museum.
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