|Birth: ||Mar. 25, 1925|
Walla Walla County
|Death: ||Feb. 9, 2007|
Eddie Feigner, was a crowd-pleasing softball pitcher and showman who toured the world for 55 years as The King and His Court, He was with out a doubt the greatest softball pitcher who ever lived. In a barnstorming career that began in 1946, he and his four-man team were all but unbeatable.
At his peak, he threw a softball harder than any major league pitcher has ever thrown a baseball. His underhand fastball was once timed at 104 miles per hour or, according to some accounts, 114 miles per hour. The fastest documented pitch thrown by a major league pitcher is 103 miles per hour.
Pitching in hundreds of games each year against local all-star teams, he won 95 percent of the time. He and his "court," which included only a catcher, first baseman, and shortstop, played everywhere from Yankee Stadium to the Great Wall of China, with countless military bases, rodeo arenas, and cow pastures in between. He appeared in all 50 states and in 98 foreign countries.
In a 1967 exhibition at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, he faced a lineup of six major league baseball players. He struck out all six -- Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Willie McCovey, Maury Wills, and Harmon Killebrew all in succession.
His records include 9, 743 victories, 141,517 strikeouts, 930 no-hitters, and 238 perfect games. An excellent hitter as well, he once slugged 83 home runs in a 250-game exhibition season. Beyond these staggering numbers, he created his most lasting impressions with a series of remarkable pitching stunts. He struck out players while blindfolded, while pitching behind his back or between his legs 8,698 times. He had a curveball that would dip 18 inches. Since the standard softball mound is only 46 feet from home plate, he would often give his opponents a chance by pitching from second base or, on occasion, from center field.
He appeared on television and once knocked a cigar out of Johnny Carson's mouth with a pitch while wearing a blindfold. Sports Illustrated once called him "the most underrated athlete of his time."
During the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, before 16,000 fans at the Silverdome in Pontiac Michigan, he and his Court beat a nine-man team that included several major league players. He was 56 at the time.
He was thrown out of school in his teens and joined the Marine Corps during World War II but was discharged after a nervous breakdown. The one thing he could do well was throw.
He was pitching on adult softball teams by the time he was 9. In 1946, after beating an Oregon team 33-0, he responded to a taunt by saying, "I would play you with only my catcher."
His opponents took up the challenge, allowing him to add a shortstop and first baseman. After practicing against inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary, he and his four-man team had their rematch. He pitched a perfect game, striking out 19 of 21 batters.
In 1950, he dubbed his traveling team The King and His Court, and they became the Harlem Globetrotters of softball, complete with gaudy red-white-and-blue uniforms.
At his peak in the 1960s, he made $100,000 a month.
In 2000, Mr. Feigner threw out the first pitch before the women's softball competition at the Olympic Games in Sydney. A day later, he had a stroke and never pitched again.
Huntsville Memory Gardens
Created by: Thomas Davenport
Record added: Feb 27, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18089855