Steve Dalkowski's real fame lies not in any list of statistics or legends but in all those low minor league towns like Wellsville and Leesburg and Yakima and Stockton, where young players still struggle toward the major leagues. To these minor-leaguers Dalkowski always symbolized every frustration and elation they had ever felt. His successes and failures were theirs and, though he failed, they looked with pride on that, too. Because his failure was not one of deficiency, but rather of excess. He was too fast. His ball moved too much. His talent was too superhuman. In a way, Dalkowski's failure softened the grimness of their own possible failure. It did not matter that he never won a major league game, or never became a star, or never even threw a single strike past "led Williams. It mattered only that once, just once, Steve Dalkowski threw a fastball so hard that Ted Williams never even saw it. No one else could claim that.