Sam Riccardo

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Sam Riccardo
Softball • West Chester

Sam Riccardo Sr. is without a doubt the greatest softball pitcher in the former West Chester Adult Softball League. Sam started playing in the old Community Softball League in 1944 for West End A.C. team. He continued playing in the league until its demise. He was known as a “strikeout” pitcher. He was very fast and had a “drop” and a “riser”. These pitches allowed Sam to amass many strikeouts in a long career. He tossed many no-hitters and several “perfect games.” He holds the record for most strikeouts in a seven-inning game (19) and also the most in an extra-inning game (24). One of Riccardo’s greatest accomplishments came when he played for the Coatesville AA team in the 50s and 60s. He once had 19 strikeouts against the Norristown Blocks who went on to play in the Softball World Series in California that year. Sam spent two years in the Army. While in the Army he played a lot of softball and learned how to throw a wicked riser. Sam already had a drop, so when he came back home and used all of those pitches in the Community Softball League, he dominated the competition. From 1944 thru 1985, he played all over in Coatesville, Downingtown, Ardmore, Allentown, Norristown-wherever the game took him. In 1971 Sam decided to start his own team in the Adult Softball League. He spoke to Charlie DiMarco and together they put they put a team on the field that was assembled from other players throughout the league. With Sam doing all the pitching, they won 16 straight games to start the season. Sam was outstanding mowing down team after team. They eventually lost to Benny’s Pizzeria in the playoffs. It was a bitter rivalry between the two teams because some of the Benny’s players went over to the Sam’s Pizza team. In the mid- fifties, Sam led the Square Bar to a Pennsylvania State Softball Championship.
Sam also pitched three times against the nationally known King and His Court touring softball team that only used a total of four players in the field. They featured Eddie Feigner-one of the greatest pitchers in the United States. Riccardo amassed many trophies which he has on display in his home. One of Sam’s thoughts was to pitch for underdog teams in the league so that he could face the best hitters from the best team. He thought that would even out the league. If he went with the best teams it would not be fair, because he was the best pitcher in the softball league. He was on 11 championship teams in the Community Softball League-starting in 1948 with the Moose Lodge.Longevity was something he was very proud of as he pitched many years in the latter part of his life.

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