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R.I.P., Herb Score


JohnO

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Indians fans, even the younger ones, know about Herb from his announcing days, but many baseball fans probably don't remember or know about him....Hell, I was 6 when his career was ruined, and all I remember was watching him pitch post-injury.

He broke in with the Indians in '55, as the heir apparent to Bob Feller - won Rookie of the Year that year with a 16-10 record, 2.85 ERA, led the league in KOs with 245 in 227 innings. In 1956, he was even better - went 20-9, 2.53 ERA (2nd in the AL in Wins & ERA), 263 KOs (again led the league). Had there been Cy Young Awards in each league, instead of one overall, he would have won the AL version. (Don Newcombe was 27-7 with the Dodgers that year, and won the Cy Young).

In '57, May 7th to be exact, against the Yankees, Score was hit in the eye/face by a Gil McDougald line drive batted right back at him. (Ironically, McDougald was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1951.) It broke numerous facial bones, and left him with temporarily distorted vision (he eventually got his 20/20 vision back). He was never the same again, Some think he changed his pitching motion. Score himself claims he hurt his elbow when he returned in '58, which caused his downfall. After his first 2 seasons, he went 19-27 the rest of his career, which lasted until 1962. (Finished his career with the White Sox.)

My guess is he's better known as an Indians announcer (from '64-'97 on TV and then radio). I believe he was also involved in a bad car crash in '98, which curtailed his announcing. He died yesterday after a long illness.

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