Amore: Face to face with Steve Dalkowski, and baseball’s timeless tale

From SABR member Dom Amore at the Hartford Courant on May 6, 2019:

The man wheeled into the room on a cold, damp spring morning, eyes fixed on his visitor, will turn 80 in a couple of weeks. June 3.

His story, though, is ageless, timeless. Because baseball cannot be understood, cannot be appreciated or loved, without the tale of the prodigal arm, the pitcher with the terrifying fastball who cannot control his gift, but rather is controlled by it.

And long before alcohol addiction cost him his dream, and conspired with old age to rob him of his memories, Steve Dalkowski became the great granddaddy of all such stories.

His story-telling days are over, but his remarkable, adoring sister, Patty Cain, agreed to introduce us at the New Britain nursing home where he has lived for 25 years because, I explained, I couldn’t consider a long career writing about baseball truly complete if I never met this man — the man so many eye-witnesses, even Hall-of-Famers, swear was the hardest thrower who ever lived, the man who never made the major leagues, yet whose story still inspires writers and filmmakers to try and do it justice.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: May 6, 2019. Last Updated: May 6, 2019.