Steve Dalkowski, a hard-throwing, agrarian left-hander whose accessory alliance career aggressive the conception of Nuke LaLoosh in the cine “Bull Durham,“ has died. He was 80.
He died Sunday at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain. His sister, Patricia Cain, said Friday he had several above-mentioned altitude that were complicated aback he became adulterated with the new coronavirus. Dalkowski had been in assisted active for 26 years because of alcoholic dementia.
Dalkowski never accomplished the above leagues but was said to accept befuddled able-bodied over 100 mph. Continued afore acceleration was tracked with precision, he spawned legends that estimated he approached 110 mph or 115 mph — some said alike 125 mph.
“Fastest I anytime saw,” then-retired Ted Williams said afterwards adverse Dalkowski during batting convenance at bounce training in 1963, according to a first-person adventure by administrator and biographer Ron Shelton.
Clyde King, the approaching big alliance administrator and controlling who formed with Dalkowski in the Orioles system, wrote in his 1999 adventures “A King’s Legacy” that Dalkowski had the best fastball amid the bags of pitchers he saw.
But Dalkowski’s area was lacking.
He averaged 17.6 strikeouts and 18.7 walks per nine innings at Class D Kingsport in 1957, throwing 39 agrarian pitches in 62 innings as he went 1-8. That Aug. 31, he addled out 24 and absolved 17 or 18 — annal alter — in an 8-4 accident to Bluefield, hitting four and throwing six agrarian pitches.
At Class C Stockton in 1960, he addled out 262 and absolved 262 in 170 innings.
“You heard all the belief about Steve, and they were true,” said above assistant Bobby Floyd, now a New York Mets chief adviser. “I can bethink him actuality on the bank one day in Stockton, he wasn’t broiled up and he aloof threw the brawl over our adviser abaft the bank in larboard centermost field. It had to be at atomic 400 feet.”
And again there was a conditioning at Daytona Beach.
“They had a board outfield fence. They drew a bang area on there and confused him aback to about 60 feet, 6 inches, and had him throw,” Floyd said. “After a while, there were a lot of holes in that fence — inside, outside, up and bottomward — and the bang area was clean.”
No amount what efforts Dalkowski approved and the Orioles suggested, he never baffled control.
“What if? But it wasn’t in the cards,” his sister said. “Stevie was wild. That was allotment of his thing.”
Shelton was a accessory alliance infielder with the Orioles from 1967-71 and acclimated the belief he heard about Dalkowski aback he wrote and directed the 1988 cine “Bull Durham.”
Dalkowski active with the Orioles in 1957 and remained in their accessory alliance arrangement until 1964. He accomplished with acreage teams of the Pittsburgh Pirates and California Angels in 1965.
“They alleged him `Dalko’ and guys admired to adhere with him and women capital to booty affliction of him and if he absolved into a allowance in those canicule he was apparently drunk,” Shelton wrote in his 2009 story, which appeared in the Los Angeles Times and The Sun in Baltimore.
“He had a almanac 14 anxiety continued central the Bakersfield, California, badge station, all alehouse brawls, annihilation serious, the cops said. He rode the trucks out at aurora to aces grapes with the casual acreage workers of Kern County — and assuredly couldn’t alike authority that job.”
Dalkowski pitched and played quarterback at New Britain Aerial School, ambience a Connecticut aerial academy almanac with 24 strikeouts in a game.
He was with the Orioles for big alliance bounce training in 1963 aback he afflicted his casting arm. He never regained his above velocity.
“He was abstinent for a compatible in the morning and he was casting adjoin those abuse Yankees in the afternoon and aching his elbow,” his sister said.
Dalkowski’s accessory alliance almanac was 46-80 with 1,324 strikeouts, 1,236 walks and 145 agrarian pitches over 956 innings in nine seasons, according to Baseball Reference.
Plagued by dementia, Dalkowski had lived back 1994 at New Britain’s Grandview Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, ahead accepted as Walnut Hill Affliction Center.
“He was a allotment of work, my brother. Alike in the aftermost few years aback things are not so great, he still was fun to be around,“ Cain said. “He’s activity to be hardly missed, by not alone myself, but by a lot of added people.”
Dalkowski affiliated Virginia Billingsley in 1975, and his wife died in 1994. In accession to his sister, he is survived by nephews Daniel and David Lee, abundant niece Amanda Lee and abundant nephew Nicholas Lee.
His burial will be private.
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