Chuck practiced his new pitch for hours. He was always inventing something.
He called it the “Dying Swan." My other brother called it the “Butterfly”. I remember it as the “Flutterball."
I may be entering deep water here, but there was something geekish about the way Chuck delivered a flutterball. He sort of tip-toed forward on the mound and held the ball in a loose slack-armed way and released it with just his fingertips. He turned his face skyward as the ball inched toward the plate.
I have to say that is the proper way to deliver a flutterball, maybe the only way. After all, Chuck invented the pitch.
I still remember the unveiling of Chuck’s new pitch in an actual game. By chance my brothers and I all were on the same team. We usually played six to a side. We only needed two neighborhood kids to round out our squad. I forget who had the honor.
The other side had the Stolar brothers, Dicky and Bobby, and Art & Bobby Floro. Rick Supak and maybe Tommy Pappas completed the opposing six.
That day it was pretty much the Giles Brothers versus the neighborhood – an alignment that may have occurred only on that one fateful day.
Six-sided baseball requires modification of the usual rules. The batting team provides the catcher – in this case someone unprotected who functions only to return the ball to the pitcher. The “no right field hitting” rule is invoked to eliminate the need for a second baseman and right fielder. (In the rare instance of a left-handed batter, the fielders shifted rightward and a “no left-field hitting” rule applied.)
Contravention of the “no right-field hitting rule” or its corollary resulted in an automatic out. Visit ambridgememories.blogspot.com for the complete article.
Ambridge Memories is a blog dedicated to local history from 1950 to 1970. Visit ambridgememories.blogspot.com for more.