The Strategy? "Pitch Swift."
October 15, 2011 6:53 PM   Subscribe

The Invisible Fastball. "Six decades ago, a minor league pitcher accomplished something we'll never see again." (Single page version)
posted by zarq (14 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite
Obviously this is a lengthy article. If you're not interested in reading the full story, here's a three-sentence bio of Kelly Swift's career, which will explain in very general terms what he accomplished to earn so much ink in Sports Illustrated.

Mr. Swift's career stats, broken down for each of the 11 seasons he played, can be seen here.
posted by zarq at 6:53 PM on October 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Old Hoss wonders what the big deal about 30 wins in a season is.

Thanks for the link, it looks really interesting. I'll always have a soft spot for long time minor leaguers. The dedication to the game it takes to spend a decade on the farm is almost heartbreaking.

Reminds me of Randy Ruiz, who played in the Jays organization for a couple years when he was 30. He tore up the minors for years, but couldn't field any position on defense. He even tore it up when he got called up to the bigs, but could never stick. He was probably just a couple lucky breaks from being a DH on a big league team and spending a decade making millions of dollars, but instead he spent 10 years riding a bus.
posted by auto-correct at 8:08 PM on October 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sports stories shouldn't have this much influence on me. It's a little dusty in here.
posted by Earthtopus at 8:11 PM on October 15, 2011 [2 favorites]

Ok, that was an awesome story. I'm glad I read it. Nice post!
posted by newdaddy at 8:17 PM on October 15, 2011

Now that is what I call playing with heart.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:25 PM on October 15, 2011

auto-correct: "Old Hoss wonders what the big deal about 30 wins in a season is."

After I sent this to my father-in-law he told me about Denny McLain. :)
posted by zarq at 8:31 PM on October 15, 2011

That is what I call burying the lede.
posted by ronofthedead at 9:05 PM on October 15, 2011 [5 favorites]

Really great story; thanks for posting.
posted by makabampow at 9:58 PM on October 15, 2011

That's a fantastic story. Thanks for sharing!
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:10 PM on October 15, 2011

I read through this last night while watching the Rangers beat up on the Detroit pitching staff, in between innings. Great timing, and a great read.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:38 AM on October 16, 2011

This story touches me in a number of ways. As a kid, I was a pitcher in Little League. As a college student, I worked on a tobacco farm. My graduate school internship was in western North Carolina, and my wife and I started dating when she lived in Hickory.

I can tell you that tobacco farming is the most brutal work I've ever done, and I'm amazed by anyone who could do that all day and then pitch so well.

Anyway, thanks for the nice trip down memory lane.
posted by 4ster at 10:38 AM on October 16, 2011 [1 favorite]

That was a nice story, thanks zarq.
posted by JHarris at 2:18 PM on October 16, 2011

Very nicely told.
posted by chavenet at 10:55 AM on October 17, 2011

That was an amazing story - thanks.
posted by doyouknowwhoIam? at 11:19 AM on October 17, 2011

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