On May 31, 1948, future Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda struck out 25 batters for the Schenectady Blue Jays in a 6-5, 15 inning victory over the Amsterdam Rugmakers.
It was the second game of a doubleheader for the Jays, which took place at McNearney Stadium. Lasorda pitched all 15 innings in the Canadian-American Association Minor League game and estimated he threw more than 300 pitches during the outing.
According to The Daily Gazette’s game story from 1948, each player in the opposing lineup struck out at least once against Lasorda, and his 25 total strikeouts set the league record, breaking the previous single-game mark of 22, which Gloversville pitcher Earl Jones set against Rome in 1942.
Lasorda struck out the final hitter of each inning from the second through the ninth, and he had a run of six straight strikeouts over the eighth, ninth and 10th innings.
In addition to his pitching performance, Lasorda also delivered the game-winning hit with a single to left field. Lasorda’s opposite on the mound, Fred Prior, also pitched all 15 innings for Amsterdam.
Lasorda finished the 1948 season going 9-12 with a 4.64 ERA over 192 innings with 195 strikeouts and 153 walks. He appeared in 32 games and made 18 starts.
The southpaw went on to make his MLB debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954, where he spent parts of two seasons, throwing just 13 innings with a 7.62 ERA. Lasorda spent his final season with the Kansas City Athletics in 1956, where he pitched 45.1 innings with a 6.15 ERA.
Lasorda memorably was optioned by the Dodgers in order to add Sandy Koufax to their active roster.
Dodgers history: Don Drysdale ties MLB shutout record
Also on this day in Dodgers history but 20 years later in 1968, Don Drysdale recorded his fifth straight shutout, which tied the MLB record established by Chicago White Sox pitcher Doc White in 1904.
The streak was not without some controversy, however, as Drysdale received some help from home plate umpire Harry Wendelstedt, who ruled that Dick Dietz did not attempt to get out of the way of the right-hander’s delivery with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, thus taking away a hit-by-pitch.
Dietz finished the at-bat by popping up, and the next two batters were also retired to end the game.
Drysdale finished the 1968 season with a 2.15 ERA across 239 innings pitched in his age-31 season. He also set the MLB record with 58 consecutive scoreless innings, which was later broken by Orel Hershiser.
He retired after throwing just 62.2 innings the following season, but still pitched more than 3,400 innings over 14 years at the Major League level.
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