The greatest team that ever stepped onto a diamond is playing its last game this weekend. Unfortunately, I"m no talking about the new York Yankees

Sadly, I"m talking about the King and also His Court, the barnstorming softball team began by the so late Eddie Feigner some 65 year ago. Feigner died in 2007, but his team has ongoing on there is no him, choose the glenn Miller Orchestra or Lynyrd Skynyrd (roughly 3 dozen players have played for the Court over the years). If you haven"t viewed the King and His Court, well, it"s your very own damn fault. The Court has been about since the Chicago Cubs still were the reigning National organization champs, and also it has actually played in practically 4,000 cities and also in more than 150 countries. Starbucks won"t walk to communities the Court does.

You are watching: King and his court softball team

But the 65-year tour of duty end Saturday night in Feigner"s hometown that Walla Walla, Wash., play a team that has former significant leaguer Jeff Cirillo, a two-time All-Star and five-time .300 hitter. An excellent luck, Jeff. You"ll require it.


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"I simply wanted to return the van secrets to Walla Walla wherein it all came out of," stated Rich Hoppe, who has been pitching through the Court because that decades. "I wanted to identify in his birthplace that something so one-of-a-kind happened. In an era where guys refuse $100 million because it"s disrespectful, this is around guys who brought their own bags, washed their very own laundry -- and also at a really steep price sign to your families. It will finish where it should. We"re going come go up to the birthplace and also bring it on home."

The King and His Court acquired its begin the means so many wonderful sagas start -- in a bar. Follow to legend, Feigner was bragging increase his skills one night when an the opposite player challenged his abilities. Insulted, Feigner gambling the man he might beat his team v just 4 players -- himself, a catcher, a first baseman and also an infielder. Feigner was confident he could win with just himself and a catcher however worried the other team would simply walk the two and also leave them there is no a batter. I beg your pardon is why the King constantly had four players.

You can see highlights the the King and His Court from about 50 years ago here and a news report from around 15 years earlier here.


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AP PhotoEddie Feigner formed the King and His Court an ext than 14,000 games and also 4 million miles back in his hometown of Walla Walla, Wash.
over the years, the Court play everywhere, v Feigner firing his 100-plus mph heater (once measured at 112 mph) native behind his back, through his legs, from second base and also even while blindfolded. It need to be fun encountering a blindfolded pitcher from 45 feet who can fire the ball quicker than 100 mph. Feigner claimed practically 10,000 victories, 141,000 strikeouts and practically 1,000 no-hitters. That struck out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Harmon Killebrew and also Roberto Clemente consecutively. That made Nolan Ryan look like a little Leaguer.

Feigner was Sidd Finch v a crewcut, Clint Eastwood through a fastball.

"The King changed my life, and he was the toughest male I"ve ever been around. He simply made me better," Hoppe said. "I miss the guy, ns really do. He was a hard-boiled egg. He was like a drill sergeant who drills friend every day and you never ever do something right."

Hoppe is a organic lefty who lost complete use of the arm in Vietnam and taught himself how to pitch right-handed. "Rage and obsession can make you execute amazing things," the explained.

The Court occasionally played three games in three cities in at some point ("You would play a noon game, a mid-afternoon game and also a night game"). It played in Saudi Arabia, the jungles the Thailand and also near the DMZ between North and also South Korea. Hoppe remembers play in 100-degree warmth in Tacoma, Wash., one day and in sub-zero cold the next day in Barrow, Alaska. Lock escaped flash floods and tornadoes. They played in prisons where the inmates gambling cigarettes ~ above the outcome. They withstood enough 30-hour rides between cities the Feigner described a 10-hour ride together "just under the roadway apiece."

"If friend did one tour with the Court, you"ve been tested. Come do an ext than one tour, you"re certifiable," Hoppe said. "It was choose being ~ above the rojo Stones, just with a softball."

Of course, the Stones never played mine hometown or the thousands of other towns that are also smaller. The King and also His Court went to towns even McDonald"s ignores. That was the beauty beauty of the team. No town was too little for them, no fans also unimportant.

"I obtained to be part of something whereby they watch you tie your shoelaces," Hoppe stated of the fist the Court sometimes received. "We gained to live our summers in little towns wherein you feel prefer it"s the 1950s. In the days of xBox and 15-screen Cineplexes, it was something to see ballparks pack with five generations, with great-grandfathers and also fathers holding little babies."

But the King is dead, his Court is farming old -- Hoppe is 65 -- and in a world of smartphones, a traveling soft ball team doesn"t host the very nice it when did. "We can"t compete with modern-day entertainment," Hoppe said. "The day of the barnstormer is buried this Saturday."

So execute yourself a donate this weekend. If friend live all over in the Northwest, walk to Walla Walla this Saturday to check out the finish of an era. Hell, if girlfriend live anywhere, gain to Walla Walla. It"s her last possibility to watch a legend, and also as the King would certainly say, it"s just down the roadway apiece.

"It"s surreal. It"s absolutely choose your life is flashing in former of you," Hoppe said. "It"s magical and also joyful in a way, however this has actually been on mine radar due to the fact that 1958 as soon as I was a child in the stands and also saw the King because that the very first time. And also that feeling has never left.

"Hollywood to let go a hell the a story. No enough human being died, i guess. And also there were not enough bare-chested women, despite there were a couple of of those, too."

CSI: box SCORE

You understand the rules. You acquire a fragment indigenous an old crate score and also the difficulty of identify what video game it is from and also why it is significant. I give this one a difficulty rating of 6.0


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Kurt Snibbe/jajalger2018.org
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Hey, I"m a huge Tim Lincecum fan but this map (2010 Topps 206, No. 255) might be the indistinguishable of the high school annual photo. One of two people that, or an outtake indigenous "Twilight 4: Team Timmy No-Hits Team Edward."" I likewise fear Buck Showalter"s head would most likely explode if a player confirmed up looking like this.

box SCORE line OF THE week

We had some amazing lines this week. Florida starter Ricky Nolasco had an atrocious video game Wednesday once he enabled 11 runs in 3 innings (3 IP, 11 H, 11 R, 11 ER, 1 BB, 2 K). Cleveland"s chris Perez hit 2 batters, walked an additional and enabled an unearned operation Monday (1 IP 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HBP) when Atlanta Jair Jurrjens pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings despite permitting 13 baserunners (6 1/3 IP, 8 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 5 BB, 1 K). Yes, he challenged the Cubs.

But the week"s most amazing line was by Philadelphia"s Roy Oswalt, that officially started gamings on continually days and also didn"t permit a run in either. Just how did he do it? He to be Philly"s scheduled starter Friday night however there to be such a lengthy rain hold-up between once he warmed up and also when the Phillies lastly took the ar that manager Charlie Manuel decided it was much better to skip him for the night. Because he had currently been in starting lineup though, Oswalt got in the box score v this award-winning line:

0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Oswalt started the following night and also threw eight scoreless innings. Which brings up an exciting question: as soon as was the last time the beginning pitcher appeared in crate scores on continuous days through no runs permitted in either game? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

BALLPARK RANKINGS

This space For rental Stadium, Florida. The Marlins are about to go into their final month at their residence stadium, i m sorry has had seven official names (if you count minor changes from Park to Stadium and also from Dolphin come Dolphins), none of them ever talked in endearing terms. My favorite was land Shark Stadium, which the was dubbed for one year after a attend to Jimmy Buffet. This location hasn"t exactly been as enticing together Margatitaville however it isn"t that destructive either, particularly as multi-purpose stadiums go. Though it would certainly be quite if Florida ownership could have found the money to store the out of town scoreboard. The Marlins will certainly be hard-pressed to same their 2 World collection championship at their new ballpark the opens following season. Friend know, there was a time once communities constructed stadiums to effectively serve lot of teams and also sports, and also the fans to be perfectly contents as lengthy as the team, friend know, won. Those days are long gone -- now deluxe suites and also revenue streams space all-important -- and also based top top the huge expanses that orange, north seats constantly visible at Marlins games, those work may have never existed here.

Score: 73. Existing Rankings:

1. PNC Park, Pittsburgh: 982. At&t Park, san Francisco: 943. Camden Yards, Baltimore: 924. Target Field, Minneapolis: 915. Wrigley Field, Chicago: 906. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles: 887. Safeco Field, Seattle: 877. Comerica Park, Detroit: 877. Coors Field, Denver: 8710. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo.: 8611. Steady Field, Cleveland: 8212, Minute Maid Park, Houston: 8013. Yankee Stadium, new York: 7914. Busch Stadium, St. Louis: 7815. The Ballpark in Arlington, Texas: 7715. Miller Park, Milwaukee 7717. Follow Field, Phoenix: 76.518. Nationals Park, Washington: 7619. Rogers Centre, Toronto: 7520. Oakland-Alameda county Coliseum: 7421. This an are For Rent, Florida 7322. Tropicana Field, Tampa Bay: 68

YEAH, WELL, THAT"S just like YOUR OPINION, MAN

I deserve to See The heavy steam Spouting from the Steinbrenners" ear From Here: You desire a systematic race in between the Yankees and Red Sox? Don"t add another wild card and also a hokey one-game playoff -- just remove the wild card. Climate those two teams will really have actually something to play for. (And don"t dominion out the light ray grabbing this year"s wild map spot yet.) including teams to the postseason doesn"t increase the stress and anxiety of pennant races, that diminishes it.

More Impressively, He also Made a pilgrimage to Toledo it seems ~ Worthwhile: Props to many tigers veteran Brandon Inge, who accepted a demotion come the minors in mid-July and also then reverted with a home run in his an initial at-bat ago with Detroit ~ above Saturday.

Lies, damn Lies and Statistics: How huge was the crowd in Williamsport for the small League world Series? more than 66,000 pan attended the 4 games Friday, consisting of a LLWS single-game record of 41,848 for a game with a Pennsylvania team. Meanwhile, together jajalger2018.org partner Doug Kern points out, the last 4 Rays home games attracted just 61,897.

CSI: box SCORE ANSWER

What friend should have noticed in this fragment is the Ruth not just is detailed as the pitcher, he"s listed as the only pitcher in the Yankees boxcore. In his final game as a pitcher, Ruth allowed five runs on 12 hits, to walk three and also struck the end none in a complete game at the finish of the 1933 season. That gave him season clues of .301, 34 home runs, 101 RBIs, a 1.023 OPS and a 1-0 record. Not bad for a fat man.

See more: What Are Some Food That Starts With The Letter E, 43 Foods That Start With E

The Yankees rewarded the best star in the their background with a 30 percent paycut. Nice guys, huh?

Jim Caple is a an elderly writer for jajalger2018.org. You deserve to follow him on Twitter at jimcaple.