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Herb Score

Herb Score

Herb Score was born in Rosedale, New York, in 1933. At 3, he was run over by a truck and later had rheumatic fever. As a teenager, he started playing basketball and baseball at Holy Name of Mary School until he moved with his family to Lake Worth, Florida. In 1952, he threw six no-hitters for the Lake Worth Community High School baseball team, when the school won its only state baseball championship.

On June 7, 1952 (his 19th birthday), he signed a baseball contract with the Cleveland Indians. He was sent to Indianapolis of the American Association where he made 10 pitching starts. In 1953, he moved to Cleveland's Class A affiliate, Reading (Pennsylvania) of the Eastern League. At Reading, he became a roommate and lifetime friend with Rocky Colavito. For the 1954 season, both were promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis. Score was named The Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year and began to be referred to as "left-handed Bob Feller”.

In 1955, Score came up to the Major Leagues (with Colavito) as a rookie with the Tribe at the age of 21. He quickly became one of the top power pitchers in the American League, no small feat on a team that still included Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and other top pitchers, going 16–10 with a 2.85 earned run average in his first year. He appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated on May 30, 1955. Score struck out 245 batters in 1955, a Major League rookie record that stood until 1984. It was the first time in MLB history a regular starting pitcher averaged over one strikeout per inning.

On May 7,1957, during the first inning of a night game against the New York Yankees, at Municipal Stadium, Score threw a low fastball to Gil McDougald. McDougald lined the pitch to the mound and struck Score in the face, breaking Score's facial bones and injuring his eye. The ball caromed to third baseman Al Smith who threw McDougald out before he rushed to the mound to aid Score. McDougald, seeing Score hit by the baseball and then lying down and injured, also ran immediately to the pitching mound, instead of first base, to help Score. McDougald reportedly vowed to retire if Score permanently lost his sight in one eye as a result of the accident. Score eventually recovered his 20/20 vision, though he missed the rest of the season. 

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