The legendary King and His Court 4-man softball team will make a return trip to Wenatchee for the second to final stop of their farewell tour. The game, sponsored by Tony’s Market, will take place on Friday, August 26th at Paul Thomas Sr. Field and will be produced by the Wenatchee AppleSox Baseball Club. The King and His Court, which fields only a pitcher, catcher, first baseman and shortstop, will play the Wenatchee Fastpitch Legends.
Much like the Harlem Globetrotters, the King and His Court are known for their crowd pleasing comedic routines and feats of athletic talent. In 2000, Sports Illustrated ranked the King and His Court as the United States’ eighth-greatest team of the 20th century.
“We’re excited to bring this great team back to Wenatchee for one last show”, said AppleSox general manager Jim Corcoran. “I had the pleasure of bringing them to town several years ago and I was amazed by their talent.”
The tour’s final stop will take place the next night in Walla Walla, the hometown of team founder Eddie Feigner. The team is calling it quits after 65 years of touring across the world.
The King and His Court have made several previous appearances in Wenatchee and have connections to the community. John Kalahar, who is managing the Wenatchee Fastpitch Legends that will play against the 4-man team on August 26th, hit a home run off of a blindfolded Eddie Feigner at Recreation Park in 1978. Ken White, father of Eastmont athletic director Dan White, was the original first baseman for the King and His Court and was considered the team’s first power hitter.
The team began in 1946 on a dare. Playing in an early spring league, Eddie Feigner was pitching for a local team in Pendleton, Oregon. His team won the game by a whopping score, but afterwards his skill as a "hot shot" softball pitcher was challenged. This was too much for the "King" who brazenly announced, "I would play you with only my catcher but you would walk us both."
The other team's manager said, "OK, you bring your catcher, shortstop, and first baseman down here and we will play you."
To prepare for the game the Feigner requested permission to play some of the teams inside the Washington State Prison in Walla Walla. The request was granted. With high walls as a backdrop, and the curious inmates looking on, the four-man softball team came into being. That same week, the name "The King and His Court" was chosen.
A week later 400 fans were on hand to view the unpublicized, initial 4 versus 9-man game. Feigner pitched a perfect game and struck out 19 batters. One ball was hit to the shortstop, and one to the first baseman. The final score was 7-0 in favor of the Court. Over the next four years the team played nearly 250 games, all in the northwest before beginning to tour across the country.
Since then they have performed in front of 20,000,000 fans in over 4,000 cities worldwide and throughout 104 countries. In an exhibition at Dodger Stadium in 1967, Feigner struck out Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Willie McCovey, Maury Wills, and Harmon Killebrew -- in succession.
The team has been featured on television many times. On one occasion a blindfolded Feigner knocked a cigar out of the mouth of Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. They were also satirized on an episode of the Fox animated sitcom King of the Hill.
Feigner passed away in 2007 at the age of 81, but the King and His Court and his legacy as softball’s greatest pitcher lives on.
Don’t miss out on this special event. Tickets are just $7 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and under. They are on sale at Tony’s Market in East Wenatchee and are available at the AppleSox souvenir stand at any AppleSox home game this summer. They can also be purchased online by clicking here.
When: Friday, August 26 at 7:05 pm
Where: Paul Thomas Sr. Field
Tickets: $7 for adults and $6 for kids 12 and under. Tickets are available now and can be purchased at Tony’s Market, the AppleSox souvenir stand, and online by clicking here.