Legendary Lake Worth pitcher Herb Score's career was shortened when he was hit in the face by a line drive in 1957.
Readers: It appears you can't get enough of that Lantana dinosaur! Our May 23 and July 11 columns sparked this note from Boca Raton attorney Robert I. MacLaren II: "One interesting thing about the dinosaur and the McNamara Patio Shop is that their daughter married Herb Score."
Score was, of course, one of Palm Beach County's most famous, and tragic, sports figures. Here's more from a 2015 feature by sports columnist Dave George:
Score had moved from Long Island in 1949. The ninth-grader enrolled at Lake Worth High.
"It was a world without malls, so Lake Worth teenagers might hop the bus on a Saturday for the ride up Dixie Highway to West Palm Beach, where you could get a hot fudge sundae at the Walgreen's and spend the afternoon shopping on Clematis Street," George wrote. "What Herb wanted most to know, however, was where did the local kids play baseball?"
Score got a spot on the Trojans varsity team, even as a freshman. He would throw six no-hitters and help the team to a state championship in 1952. He signed with the Cleveland Indians, for a then hefty $60,000. He got to the majors in 1955 and was American League Rookie of the Year.
On May 7, 1957, his second batter of the day was shortstop Gil McDougald of the defending World Series champ New York Yankees. McDougald slashed a line drive to the mound.
"Score never had a chance. The ball struck him flush in the face," George wrote.
"I didn't see the ball until it got a foot or two from my face," Score said later. "Then I saw too much of it."
He spent three weeks in the hospital with a broken nose and damage to his right cheekbone and right eye. On July 10, 1957, Herb, out for the season, married Nancy McNamara, of dino fame, at St. Mark's Catholic Church in Boynton Beach.
He returned to pitch two more years in Cleveland and two for the Chicago White Sox. He retired at 30 and spent 34 years as the television and radio voice of the Indians. His last game was back in South Florida, as the Indians lost Game 7 of the 1997 World Series to the Marlins. He died at 75 in 2008.
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