Stanley Pasierbiak: The Drury Pitcher Who Struck Out Babe Ruth

In Stan Pasierbiak junior and senior year, between 1937-1938, he was considered one of the best high school pitchers in Western Massachusetts. During that span, he won 17 games while losing only one. His 2-year winning record stands to this day at Drury.

He averaged 15-16 strikeouts a game with very few walks. His best game however, came when he pitched a no-hitter against Pittsfield. In the 7-inning game, he struck out 13 batters and had no walks. On the other hand, Drury pelted the Pittsfield team with 17 runs on 13 hits. Stanley proved his power at the plate as well with three hits, one of them a triple. 

After he graduated in 1938, he stayed away from pitching for a couple of months. In early August, he learned that the Brooklyn Dodgers were going to barnstorm through North Adams. One of their coaches was none other than Babe Ruth. Their intent was to play the Sons of Italy team at Noel Field on August 11th. Stan volunteered to join the Italian team and everyone was very glad that he did.

On the evening of the big game, extra seats were added to the bleachers already set up on the field. Though the skies were threatening, 3,500 people showed up to see the Bambino as well as to watch Pasierbiak pitch. How would he do against a major-league club?

Stan pitched five shut-out innings while giving up only three hits. In the first inning, the Dodgers went down in order. Pasierbiak walked the first two batters in the second. The third hitter flied out to second. Stan, looking “a little fidgety” walked the next batter to load the bases but he pitched out of the inning with a strikeout and a pop fly to center field. 

When it was his turn to bat in the bottom of the second inning, Stan lead off with a single. After two more hits, Pasierbiak crossed the plate with their first run. In the top of the third, he struck out Babe Ruth to the joy and amazement of the crowd. “The Bambino was very much in evidence as far as the crowd was concerned, but he played no outstanding part in the game himself. He batted three times but he was unable to connect for a hit off Pasierbiak, but he fielded his position at first base cleanly.” When Stan left the game, The Sons of Italy led Brooklyn 1 – 0. The final score, however was Brooklyn 6 – Sons of Italy 2.

While still in high school, Pasierbiak wanted to show off to his friends, by throwing a ball in from the outfield as hard as he could towards the infield. It was said later that he felt a twinge of pain in his throwing arm. Because of his youth, he was able to disguise any discomfort through the rest of his high school career, including the Brooklyn Dodgers game. 

In the summer of 1938, Stan signed a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals and the following year, he arrived at the Cardinal’s farm system training camp. Over the next several months, he pitched on various Cardinal teams from Albany, GA to Portsmouth, OH and Hamilton, Canada.

Unfortunately, the pain in his arm increased to a point where he had to quit baseball.

He returned to North Adams and found a job at Sprague Electric Company where he rose to become the shipping department’s foreman. He retired in 1974 and passed away 12 years later in 1986.