Step Back In Time: Jimmy Moore pitches Seattle to 1985 ISC crown

Written by Bob on July 25th, 2017

JIMMY MOORE gets a flying leap from his wife after the final out in the championship game of the 1985 ISC World Tournament in Kimberly, Wisc. The Appleton, Wisc. Post-Crescent Photo

By JOHN L. PAUSTIAN
Post-Crescent executive sports editor
Mon. Aug. 19, 1985

KIMBERLY, Wisc
. – In an era of domination by foreign softball pitchers, American-born Jimmy Moore is proving a notable exception.

The blond, 30-year-old right-hander, whose remarkable pitching recently enabled the California Kings to win the gold medal in the National Sports Festival, guided Pay ‘n Pak of Seattle to the International Softball Congress World Tournament championship Sunday.

Moore defeated defending champion Decatur ADM’s Brent Stevenson 1-0 in a blockbuster climax to the 10-day, 87-game event at Sunset Point Park.

BEARD’S BLAST

One pitch was the difference between Moore, who finished the tourney with a 6-0 record, and Stevenson (6-1). It was a 3-2 pitch of Stevenson’s that first baseman Bruce Beard whacked over the center-field fence in the bottom of the fifth inning.

“It was a drop ball,” said the right-handed-hitting Beard. “It’s been his (Stevenson’s) best pitch. He just got it up a little.”

PERSONAL BEST OVER

The setback, ending Stevenson’s two-year World Tournament winning streak at 10 games and ADM’s reign, was a bitter one for the 6-foot-3 New Zealander, who was attempting a three-victory iron-man feat Sunday.

In the opener of Sunday’s program that attracted more than 6,000 fans, Stevenson pitched ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) to an 8-0 victory over Alberta Brake & Clutch, eliminating the Calgary team.

Stevenson immediately returned to the mound and stopped Pay ‘n Pak and pitcher Virgil Harstad 2-1, forcing a second showdown between the two powerhouses of a tougher-than-ever 44 team field.

Stevenson, who had hurled the title-clinching win in last year’s ISC meet, came back again to oppose Moore in yesterday’s finale. In 18 innings, the only earned run Stevenson gave up was the Beard blast.

MAGNIFICENT MOUND MAGIC

Moore elevated his magnificent season’s record to 49-4 with a five-hitter that gave him his fifth shutout in six decisions here. Not quite as over-powering as Stevenson, Moore mixed up his pitches well and had excellent control.

He struck out nine – including the final batter with the tying run on third base – and walked only one. He permitted one base-runner in six of the seven innings but each time abruptly clamped down on the hard-hitting Illinois team to keep it off the board.

“I kept challenging them with my rise ball, I didn’t have all my stuff today, but I had enough. I figured they couldn’t beat us twice in a row,” said Moore, a Butte Falls, Ore. native who now lives in Seattle.

“It was a great win,” said Moore, adding that the thrill was comparable to his 4-0 record in the 1985 NSF and his 5-1 mark in 1982 when Seattle won the ASA (Amateur Softball Association) title.

AS GOOD AS THE FOREIGNERS

With so many U.S. teams using New Zealand and Canadian pitchers, Moore was asked if his success meant anything special.

“When people say it’s good to see an American pitcher doing well, I like that,” he said. “I may not be the best pitcher, but I like to think I’m one of the best.”

Beard paid this tribute to his teammate: “When you put pressure on him (Moore), he’s at his best. He thrives on pressure.”

Moore demonstrated his poise in the fifth and seventh innings, when the leadoff men hit safely.

Rick Minton single to right in the fifth. He took second on a wild pitch and third on Kevin Knop’s sacrifice bunt. Moore then struck out pinch-hitter Tim Summers and got James Nofke on a popout.

Steve Phillips singled to right to open the Decatur seventh. He was sacrificed to second by Minton and took third on an infield out. Moore notched the climactic out by fanning pinch-batter John Sincox on a drop and two rise balls.

Stevenson (45-10) retired the first 11 Seattle batters in the championship clash before Bill Boyer beat out a fourth-inning single to short and continued to second on Knop’s errant throw.

Mickey Brusco was walked intentionally, and Jim Carrithers caromed a hit off the third baseman’s glove, loading the bases.

Stevenson halted the threat by getting Dave Newell to hit into a force play.

The valiant Stevenson was unable to dodge the fifth-inning bullet, however. His 2-2 pitch to Beard was in the dirt, filling up the count.

“I didn’t want to walk the leadoff man,” said Stevenson, who didn’t feel his 3-2 pitch was all that bad. “He probably guessed right.”

Whatever the case, Beard got all of it and sent it screaming out of the park for “what has to be my biggest thrill in softball. I had a feeling it might go, but since it wasn’t very high, I wasn’t sure.”

Beard, 30, felt it was personal vindication for him since, “I hadn’t been hitting well in the tournament.”

How excited was Moore over the homer?

“I hit my head on top of the dugout (while jumping up),” he said.

The Tom Wagner-managed Seattle club (6-1 for the tournament and 90-13 for the season), which garnered the ISC title in its first-ever try, will shoot for a “double” in the ASA meet next month in Salt Lake City. No team has ever won both titles in the same year.

Stevenson, who allowed four hits in the finale, had authored a one-hitter in a 2-1 win that dropped Pay ‘n Pak from the unbeaten list earlier in the day. The only hit was Brusco’s leadoff single in the seventh.

With the tying run on base, Stevenson induced Carrithers to pop out, then registered his 10th and 11th strikeouts.

Seattle had tied the game with a third-inning unearned run. A walk to Randy Burnside, an error and a fielder’s choice produced the tally and left men on first and second with none out.

Stevenson showed his mettle by whiffing the next three hitters.

ADM scored an unearned run in the second on Dave Jackson’s single, and error, a groundout and a fielder’s choice.

Decatur got to Harstad for the winning run in the third.

Denny Place lined a double to center, took third on a passed ball and scored as Brian Rothrock backed center-fielder Boyer to the fence for a sacrifice fly. Harstad (19-4) finished with a three-hitter.

DECATUR KNOCKS OFF CANADIANS

ADM, which had been bumped into the loser’s bracket in a 5-4 loss to Seattle Saturday night, qualified for a rematch with the champions-to-be by brushing aside Alberta in a game that went just 4½ innings because of the 7-run rule.

Decatur put it away with twin four-run burst in the second and third innings.

Ted Hicks, Phillips and Knop all singled in the second, but losing pitcher Brian Stephenson walked a batter and his defense committed two costly errors.

In explaining how he wound up pitching all three games Sunday, Stevenson said:

“Robbie (Robertson, the manager) gave me the first game, I wanted the second one and he asked me if I wanted the third. I said yes.”

Stevenson refuse to attribute his loss to fatigue but admitted, “I started getting tired. My legs started going.”

ADM (88-21) finished 6-2 in the tourney.

1 Comments so far ↓

  1. Cam Lind says:

    Great story loaded with so many legendary names.

Leave a Comment