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Dick Russell
July 29, 1968
Sometime soon, maybe before he celebrates his 45th birthday this Friday, Hoyt Wilhelm will hop a White Sox bullpen cart and disembark exactly 60'6" from home plate for the 907th time in his 18-year major league career. He will dig his right fingertips into the ball, float it evasively toward the plate and, no matter what happens next, one of baseball's oldest records will knuckle under. In 1911 Cy Young retired after 906 pitching appearances. Wilhelm will surpass that in four fewer seasons and he has no intention of stopping now. "I feel like pitching until I'm 60," he shrugged after hurling in five more games last week. Hoyt's secret remains his knuckleball, a delivery that has been baffling batters—and his own catchers—since boyhood days in Huntersville, N.C. It's easy on his arm "because there's no twist of the elbow or wrist and no need for speed to make it effective," and Wilhelm throws it "90% of the time if I'm getting it over." Wilhelm owns a 1.31 ERA through 40 appearances this season and has been the White Sox' top reliever since 1963. He pitched a no-hitter with Baltimore in 1958, but he can't remember when last he started a game. Former White Sox J. C. Martin, however, vividly recalls catching a Wilhelm start against Boston five years ago. "For the first five innings he threw nothin' but fast balls and he had a 1-0 lead. Then he went to the knuckler, like he was relievin' himself. Never will forget Eddie Bressoud. Eddie lunged at one outside, he swung at one inside, and the umpire called him out on the next pitch with Eddie lyin' flat on the ground." Hoyt Wilhelm's knuckler had again turned on, tuned in and suddenly dropped out. Never trust any knuckleballer over 40.
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July 29, 1968

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Sometime soon, maybe before he celebrates his 45th birthday this Friday, Hoyt Wilhelm will hop a White Sox bullpen cart and disembark exactly 60'6" from home plate for the 907th time in his 18-year major league career. He will dig his right fingertips into the ball, float it evasively toward the plate and, no matter what happens next, one of baseball's oldest records will knuckle under. In 1911 Cy Young retired after 906 pitching appearances. Wilhelm will surpass that in four fewer seasons and he has no intention of stopping now. "I feel like pitching until I'm 60," he shrugged after hurling in five more games last week. Hoyt's secret remains his knuckleball, a delivery that has been baffling batters—and his own catchers—since boyhood days in Huntersville, N.C. It's easy on his arm "because there's no twist of the elbow or wrist and no need for speed to make it effective," and Wilhelm throws it "90% of the time if I'm getting it over." Wilhelm owns a 1.31 ERA through 40 appearances this season and has been the White Sox' top reliever since 1963. He pitched a no-hitter with Baltimore in 1958, but he can't remember when last he started a game. Former White Sox J. C. Martin, however, vividly recalls catching a Wilhelm start against Boston five years ago. "For the first five innings he threw nothin' but fast balls and he had a 1-0 lead. Then he went to the knuckler, like he was relievin' himself. Never will forget Eddie Bressoud. Eddie lunged at one outside, he swung at one inside, and the umpire called him out on the next pitch with Eddie lyin' flat on the ground." Hoyt Wilhelm's knuckler had again turned on, tuned in and suddenly dropped out. Never trust any knuckleballer over 40.

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