May 31 was one for the ages all the way back in 1948. You may know Tommy Lasorda as being a Dodgers legend. But before he was managing the Dodgers, did you know that he was busy striking out 25 batters in a game?
On this date 72 years ago, Lasorda threw a 15-inning complete game with 25 strikeouts. No, that’s not a typo. He was pitching for the Schenectady Blue Jays at the time, and he did it against the Amsterdam Rugmakers. I’m sure those are two teams you haven’t heard about in a while!
Lasorda set what was then a single-game record for strikeouts. That record lasted for only four years, as a Minor Leaguer named Ron Necciai set a new record, doing it in only nine innings. The number? Ya know, just 27. Yeah, the dude struck out every batter he faced. What a time to be alive.
For the game, Lasorda walked 12 and hit a batter, giving up 10 hits and five runs over the course of his 15 innings of work. Since there wasn’t a pitch counter back then, there’s no way to prove how many pitches he threw that day. However, Lasorda and Bobby Valentine both came up with a guesstimate. Somewhere around 300.
I’m sure Tommy was using the ice pack the next day.
Oh, and to make this game even more impressive for Lasorda, he singled home the winning run in the 15th inning to win the game for his team.