RIP, Herb Score

Herb Score has died at the age of 75. The promising lefthander of the Cleveland Indians seemed destined for the Hall of Fame. He was the American League 1955 Rookie of the Year with a record of 16-10, a 2.85 ERA, and was the strikeout leader with 245. His 263 K’s in 1956 again were tops in the league as he upped his record to 20-9. But then a line drive off the bat of Gil McDougald drilled Score in the face on May 7, 1957. Blood was streaming from Herb’s nose, right eye, and mouth, but he never lost consciousness. Still he spent three weeks in the hospital and missed the rest of the 57 season with fuzzy vision. Although his vision returned he won only 17 games over the next five seasons before retiring.

“He would have been probably one of the greatest, if not the greatest, left-handed pitchers who ever lived,” Feller said Tuesday on the Indians’ Web site. Feller, near the end of his career when Score arrived, likened him to Sandy Koufax, the Dodgers Hall of Famer. “Herb Score had just as good a curveball as Koufax and a better fastball.”

He was an Indians broadcaster, mostly on the radio, from 1964 to 1997. Score was seriously injured in an automobile accident in 1998 and had been incapacitated by a stroke since 2002.

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