Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I saw it...pt. 1

I did. I saw it live and in person. I still remember the sounds...the crack of the bat, the nearly simultaneous crack of Billy Swifts cranium as the ball hit him in the head and bounced nearly to the foul line. It was August 5th, 1990 and the Minnesota Twins were in Seattle to play the Mariners in the old Kingdome. Gary Gaetti was at the plate in the 4th inning. Billy Swift had pitched 3.2 innings of one hit ball when it happened. The ball cracked off the right side of Billy's forehead. I don't know how many of the 17,248 in attendance were in their seats, but those of that were let out a collective gasp. Billy lay there for a bit and my buddies and I thought he must be dead. Eventually he was helped to his feet by a couple of trainers who escorted him off the field. He spent the night in the hospital where he underwent further examination. I don't know how he did it, but somehow he managed to go on and pitch for 8 more years. No way I'm getting back on the mound after that. No. Way.

1987 Donruss Bill Swift

1989 Topps Bill Swift

Billy Swift was drafted 2nd overall in the first round of the 1984 baseball draft by the Seattle Mariners. He made his Major League Debut on June 7, 1985. He took over after Brian Snyder pitched one inning. Billy pitched 5 innings giving up one hit with one walk/one strikout and getting the win. Billy would go on to pitch 6 years with Seattle, 3 with the Giants, 3 with the Rockies, and finishing with one last season in Seattle. In his 13 year career, he pitched in 403 games, starting 220 of them. He ended up with a 94-78 record and 27 saves. He had his best season in 1993, going 21-8 for the Giants. In 1599.2 IP, Swift had 767 strikouts. He also managed to give up 1688 hits in his career, but none harder than the ONE off the bat of Gary Gaetti.
Billy Swift is currently the head baseball coach at Scottsdale Christian Academy in Phoenix, Arizoza. I think I'll send these two priceless gems off to Mr. Swift TTM.

1 comment:

  1. 2 months down, maybe more tomorrow... You sure you don't want to limit our entries??

    Good night!