Ryczek: What ever became of Bill Faul anyway?

From SABR member Bill Ryczek at The National Pastime Museum on November 16, 2015:

Detroit writer Joe Falls posed the above question in a July 15, 1967, Sporting News column. Why was Falls so curious about the fate of a pitcher who’d won just five games for the Tigers a few years earlier? The answer is that while Bill Faul wasn’t a 20-game winner he was a most unusual young man who left his mark on Detroit in 1963 in much the same way Mark Fidrych did in 1976. Faul didn’t have a spectacular season like Fidrych, but he was every bit as eccentric as the curly haired young right-hander who fascinated the baseball world during the Bicentennial Summer.

In 1961, Faul became the first All-American pitcher at the University of Cincinnati, an institution that a few years earlier had a left-hander named Sandy Koufax on its staff. Faul broke Koufax’s single-game record by striking out 19, and he later fanned 24 Jacksonville University batters. Signed by the Tigers for a bonus estimated at various times between $10,000 and $60,000 (it was probably about $25,000), Faul was called up to the Major Leagues after just 13 games in A ball.

Faul had a live fastball and a wild, flailing delivery that looked as though he was throwing himself at the batter. The Chicago Tribune described him as an “impatient marionette.” It was not his pitching, however, that attracted the most attention; reporters found that Faul was a very interesting interview and a refreshingly eccentric oasis in a dull, conformist era.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/what-ever-became-bill-faul-anyway

Originally published: November 16, 2015. Last Updated: November 16, 2015.