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The King and His Court…

Posted by on June 1, 2016
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Eddie Feigner. 1946. 

FIRST IN AN OCCASIONAL SERIES. This blog was never intended to be strictly a “travelogue.” Remember, this is more than a chronicle of our journey across America. Today’s post is the first in an occasional series about specific chapters in the book I’m writing, “My Life in Court.” You remember, don’t you? I told you a long time ago about my book. It’s a memoir about my career as a trial lawyer. (A memoir is different than an autobiography. It’s devoted to one aspect of the writer’s life…in my case the 35 years I spent as an attorney in San Diego. An autobiography is about the writer’s entire life. Trust me…I’m not working on an autobiography. My entire life story would bore you to tears!) It’s about my clients and others I met during those years. 

Eddie Feigner, "The King and his Court" Number #1 softball pitcher in the world. (1983 photo by Ron Riesterer/photoshelter.

Eddie in 1983, when he was one of my clients. .

MY BOOK DEAL. The first draft of my book is about half completed. As you know, I announced early-on my decision to take a break from writing the book as we’re exploring America. While were traveling, my focus is on our Adventure. Writing a book is hard work. It’s time consuming and requires discipline. Even prolific writers such as John Grisham agree. So I’m not going to compromise it by multi-tasking or trying to write a little each night before bed. No, it just doesn’t work that way. Stated a bit differently, “I’m not going to dilute either experience…our Adventure or writing my book.” Again, this series of posts will be mere snippets about specific chapters in my book. Just enough to keep you interested so you’ll buy it when it’s published. Think about this series of posts as previews of  a coming attraction: the day my book is published.

THE KING AND HIS COURT. “Touching lives, bringing smiles and creating lifetime memories.” That’s what Eddie Feigner, one of my clients years ago, did for more than 65 years with “his Court.” Eddie passed away about nine years ago. His grave-site in Alabama isn’t too far from Pensacola where we’ve been for the last seven months. Maybe that’s why I thought of him this morning. And I recalled the fun I had getting to know him . So I decided to tell you about him. You’ll enjoy the story. If you didn’t like stories, you’d never have become a subscriber to my blog. I’m a storyteller.

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An old file photo about the Eddie’s “farewell tour.”

WHAT EXACTLY WAS “THE KING AND HIS COURT?” Eddie Feigner, was a crowd-pleasing softball pitcher and showman who toured the world for 55 years as The King and His CourtDressed in trademark red, white and blue uniforms, and taking the field as a 4-man team: Pitcher, catcher, first baseman and shortstop, “The King & His Court” was America’s favorite family softball entertainment team for about 65 years.

FOUR MAN SOFTBALL TEAM. When asked why his team had four members, Feigner answered that they couldn’t play with just three “because if all three got on base there would be nobody left to come to bat.” All of the teams Eddie played against had full nine man teams. Nine against four! They provided a perfect fundraising event for youth organizations, military bases, church groups and civic organizations. Game routines featured Eddie’s stunt pitches, feats of athletic talent and crowd-pleasing comedic routines. They stirred laughter from young and old. Kind of like the “Harlem Globetrotters.” Remember them?

(Click on the arrow-point to play video clip of The King and His Court.)

 

SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT. Americans are rather myopic in their view of professional athletes. So was I until I met Eddie. Neither Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods or even Mohammad Ali came even close to “the King.” There was nobody, and I mean nobody, who dominated his sport like Eddie Feigner dominated fast-pitch softball “back in the day.”  An example: Feigner’s “softball fastball” was clocked at 114 miles per hour, faster than most major league pitchers throw a hardball! I was Eddie’s guest at one of his games. I had a ball. Trust me on this one Eddie was flat-out one of the greatest athletes of all time!

 

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In my book about my clients and experiences as an attorney, there is a chapter about Eddie. This is a preview of that chapter. I never thought at the time to have a picture taken of us together. I wish I had.

EDDIE’S STATS. They are mind-boggling! Eddie told me that he personally kept detailed stats for the team.  I didn’t realize at the time just how detailed they were! The Team played more than ten thousand softball games in a hundred countries since the late 1940’s and achieved widespread fame. Feigner’s stats and records: 9,743 wins. 141,517 strike-outs, 930 no-hitters and 238 perfect games. The Washington Post described him as “the greatest softball pitcher who ever lived.”

statsIn 1967, long before I met him, Eddie played in a celebrity charity game against  some celebrated Major League baseball players. In that game, he struck-out Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Brooks Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Maury Wills, Harmon Killebrew and Pete Rose. All in a row!

MEMORIES. What fun memories I have about my law practice and certain clients. Eddie Feigner falls smack-dab in this group of clients. Rest in Peace Eddie Feigner. I’ll write about other clients in the future. I hope you enjoyed this post and that you’ll look forward to the next in my series as much as I look forward to writing it!

I’LL CONTINUE MY STORY NEXT TIME.

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