David Taylor is on the ball, literally.
Last Thursday night, he traded in his sheriff’s garb for a softball uniform and likely made history at South Hills Complex when he pitched a perfect game for West Springs Baptist, giving up no hits and no runs scored.
“I don’t know of anybody ever doing it before,” said Union County Recreation Department Athletic Director, Sam Phipps. “I’ve never even heard of anyone throwing a perfect game in slow pitch softball.”
Taylor’s son, Jared, said that no one ever really thought it would happen, but that midway through the game, West Springs Baptist players began to realize that the opposition didn’t have a hit and thus decided to play out the unwritten rule of the game — Don’t talk to your pitcher when he’s working on a no-no.
“Nobody discussed the no hitter and I instructed the team not to speak to the sheriff in the dugout,” said Jared.
David realized what was happening in the third inning.
“I looked at Jared and he looked at me. I knew what he was thinking, but he said — Don’t even mention it!” David laughed.
Teammate Adam Harris said he was unaware that David had a no-hitter going until much later.
“When Jared said not to talk to his dad in the dugout, I just thought he had other issues,” Harris laughed. “I didn’t realize it until we were shaking hands after the game.”
While Jared and outfielder Chris Lemons chided Harris for not being up to speed, Harris defended his oblivion with an excellent point.
“Who the heck throws a no-hitter in slow pitch softball?!”
Larry “Foots” Lawson of Union did over 20 years ago, helping Carlisle Finishing to a District Championship in Spartanburg.
However, it is a rare occurrence, and is likely the first time South Hills Complex has seen a perfect game tossed.
David said that his team’s defense played its best game of the year.
“We’d been playing like the Bad News Bears,” he laughed. “So it was a shock not just to have a perfect game but also not to have made an error!”
David joked that he pitches because, “That’s where they put you when you get old.”
But he also recalled watching his father pitch and admitted that it does require some technique.
“Daddy put a lot of emphasis on how he threw the ball and where it crossed the plate and I guess I do, too.”
Jared spoke about how grateful he was, not only to share in the experience of participating in a perfect game, but also just to have the opportunity to play ball with his father.
“My grandpa played church league until he was in his mid-60s,” he said. “Hopefully my dad will be able to play until he’s that age too.”
David has no plans of retiring anytime soon, finding solace on the ball field, as most athletes do.
While insisting that he’s just glad to still be able to play, the sheriff also revealed why he loves the sport.
“When I’m on the ball field the telephone don’t ring and the radio don’t go off,” he said. “That’s peace for me.”