On September 8, 2003 — At Camden Yards, 64 year-old Steve Dalkowski throws the ceremonial first pitch to relief pitcher Buddy Groom before an Orioles game against Seattle.

Steve Dalwinski

Considered by many the fastest pitcher in history he could not control himself of the ball, during a decade of minor league ball he had over 1300 strikeouts and 1200 walks, and 145+ wild pitches.

In 1959, His first pitch went right through the boards. In one minor league game, Dalkowski threw three pitches that penetrated the backstop and sent fans scattering. At Aberdeen in the Northern League, Dalkowski threw a one-hitter and lost 9-8. In 1959, Dalkowski set a Northern League record with 21 strikeouts in a game.

Dalkowski finally seemed under control on and off the field in 1963, when he was one of the best pitchers in the Orioles’ spring training camp in Miami. He was fitted for a Baltimore uniform on the morning of March 22, 1963, but suffered an elbow injury in an exhibition game that afternoon. He will never come close to the Majors again.

 


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