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Lifted for a pinch hitter in the top half of the eighth in a scoreless game, Scurry was forced to pace the clubhouse floor, listening to the final innings on the radio, anxiously rooting for his club.His teammates cooperated, as the Pirates finally picked up a pair of runs to make the score 2–0. Winning my first big league game is the highlight of my career.Koch explains, “Berra or somebody would say, ‘Hey, do you guys party?’ Then one thing led to another, and the players found out that Dale [Shiffman] could get stuff, and that’s how it kind of snowballed from there.” Koch says that the players, mostly Scurry and shortstop Dale Berra, began to call him prior to games to ask if he could pick some blow up from Shiffman and bring it down to the ballpark.He had always loved the game, but as he reached high school in the 1960s he didn’t have time for baseball anymore as his interests ran to “beers, cigs, and slicked-back hair.” In the army during the early 1970s Shiffman picked up baseball again and played at a high level while based at Fort Devin, Massachusetts.By the 1980s Shiffman had become a three-sport season ticket holder in the ’Burgh. carefree.” Shiffman stayed true to his character in the ensuing years, particularly to being “carefree” as he spent much of his time bowling, golfing, and playing softball.Whatever the price, by whatever name, cocaine is becoming the All-American Drug. Scurry’s aspiration to pitch a complete game nearly came to fruition. On game days, when his teachers believed him to be studiously tending to his work in the classroom he would in fact be poring over index cards he had made that listed the tendencies of the opposing team’s big hitters.
Shiffman and Koch, like so many others in the early 1980s, had recently discovered cocaine.Pitching coach Harvey Haddix defended the young pitcher, saying, “You don’t need sleep to pitch.I did it many times in the days we rode trains between cities. You take it out on the other team’s hitters.” What Scurry failed to mention to Haddix was that it wasn’t merely adrenaline keeping him up at night—it was cocaine, which he also used before the game.“The kid has an outstanding curveball,” the opposing starter, Joe Niekro, commented.“Sometimes a pitcher has to wait a long time to get his chance.