New Book Chronicles Warren Spahn's Epic Pitching Duel

Monday, July 25th 2011, 1:01 am
By: News 9

Grant Belcher,

TULSA, Oklahoma – Plenty has changed in baseball over the past few decades, but with the way pitchers are protected these days, nothing can rival what many call "the pitching duel of the century."

Forty-eight years ago, Warren Spahn and Juan Marichal went 16 straight innings without a run before Willie Mays finally ended it with a homer.

Spahn, who managed the Tulsa Oilers baseball team for five seasons, spent much of his retirement in Oklahoma.

His son, Greg, wrote a forward for a new book, "The Greatest Game Ever Pitched," and spoke with News On 6 about that historic night.

"I inherited a nervousness from my mother of watching my dad pitch," he said. "Before the 16th inning I was a nervous wreck, beat, and I went in the clubhouse and I think I was more tired than dad was."

Spahn's incredible achievements haven't gone unnoticed. The Warren Spahn Award is now given annually to the game's top left-handed pitcher.

The award has gone to some big names, including Randy Johnson, Johan Santana and CC Sabathia. But it's unlikely any modern pitcher will ever rival Spahn and Marichal's accomplishments in 1963 in San Francisco.

"The Greatest Game Ever Played" is available through Triumph Books Publishing by author Jim Kaplan.