WBSC Softball Hall of Famer Ty Stofflet, one of the greatest of all time, passes away at 79

WBSC Softball Hall of Famer Ty Stofflet, one of the greatest of all time, passes away at 79
The legendary left-handed pitcher led USA to win the WBSC (ISF) Men’s Softball World Championship 1976, where he pitched one of the most remembered softball games in the history of the event.

Tyrone Earl Stofflet, recognised as one of the greatest pitchers ever to step onto a softball field, passed away on Saturday, 23 January, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was 79. Arguably the best left-handed pitcher of all time, Stofflet was inducted into the WBSC Softball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Stofflet was born in 1942. He grew up in Pennsylvania and was convinced by his father Harold that “there is no excuse for not trying to be the best”. Harold tutored Ty two hours a day for six days a week. At the age of 14, the younger Stofflet was spotted by a coach firing rocks at a garage door, already then showcasing a fluid underhand motion.

According to reports, Stofflet could pitch at over 100 miles (160 kilometers) per hour and his riser jumped almost 3 feet (91,4 centimetres), according to legend. He said: “They call it softball, but at the speed I throw it, a marshmallow could break bones.”

Stofflet worked concurrently as an electrician during his playing career, but this didn’t prevent him from practicing hard: “I was born with 25% of my talent, the rest came from throw, throw, throw.” He also knew how to last long: “The legs go first, so I run 20-22 miles (32-35 kilometres) a week.”

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The New York Times Magazine dedicated an article to Stofflet, headlined The Fastest Pitcher in America: “Stofflet’s delivery is an exquisite blend of power and grace, ballet and ballistics. His hands surge up over his head, ball nestled firmly in the glove, as he rises in a balletic releve. The ball is then returned to his chest. A vicious windmill motion of his arm - accompanied by a piercing shriek that would have done the late Bruce Lee proud - unleashes a cannonball shot toward the helpless, hapless hitter.”

His most renowned win occurred at the WBSC Men’s Softball World Championship in 1976. Stofflet when head-on with New Zealand great Kevin Herlihy in a 20-innings battle that made the history books as 'The Game'. Stofflet pitched 18 2/3 perfect innings, retiring 56 men in a row, before hitting New Zealand third baseman McLean with a change-up, as the third baseman crowded home plate. Stofflet drove in the lone run of the game and grabbed the win with a historic no-hitter. USA shared the world crown with New Zealand and Canada, since the playoffs of the tournament were rained out.

Stofflet had a total career wins of approximately 1,500, including a reported 650 shut outs, 172 no-hitters and 58 perfect games.

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