Horseshoe Pitcher Sets Record

The cold and ice didn't stop 52 area horseshoe pitchers from competing in the Independence Memorial Open Tournament on Saturday. The first session started at 9 am in the Don Harris Arena at Ruth Stocksdale Park in Liberty with Classes G through I. A few pitchers cancelled but their spots were soon taken by the short list of Stand-bys. The second session of 18 pitchers in Classes D through F started at 11:30 and the final three classes A through C began just after 2 p.m. One pitcher, 81 year old Nick DiRaimo from Kansas City was especially glad he came out after he pitched an unexpected perfect game. He's been pitching in leagues and tournaments for 19 years. There are two ways to win: Point Limit or Shoe Limit. The winner by Shoe Limit is the contestant with the highest score after both have pitched 40 shoes. The Point Limit winner is the first contestant to reach or exceed 40 points. In most tournaments, the Championship Class is the only class that uses both Point and Shoe Limits, whichever comes first. In Nick's case, he pitched 14 ringers in a row totaling 42 points against Charlie Baker from Liberty. The final score was 42-0. This is the first 100% game ever pitched in Harris Arena. When the final shoe was pitched for his win, all nine games stopped while Nick was congratulated for his big win. As for Charlie, he didn't mind the loss too much; this was his first time to ever pitch in the Championship class. Nick will receive a patch for his 100% game and both will be recognized at the Missouri State Championship Banquet in September.

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