Scott was the No. 1 draft choice of the San Francisco Giants in June, 1979, because they felt the Buckley-Loda High School product had a major-league fast ball. He pitched his first National League game on October 2, 1983. Scott held the best pitching record in The National League for 1989.
A sign at the city limits of Buckley, Illinois, reads "Home of Scott Garrelts...."
From The (Paxton) Record, July 2, 1997
By Dave Hinton
[Walt Simmons, basketball scout for Lawrenceville High School, former baseball-basketball coach at Buckley-Loda High School, was in town, and remenisced about the B-L "Dream Team" baseball years with Scott Garrelts and Mark Scheiwe alternating as pitchers and Robin Genzel, who had been catching Scott's pitches since pee-wee years, at catcher. Joining these three as regular starters were Bill Houtzel, Kent Luebchow, Ross Cluver, Rick Brown, Randy Plath and Doug Luecke.]
Walt Simmons realized what a name his young pitcher, Scott Garrelts, had made for himself when the Kankakee area newspapers got angry at Simmons.
Simmons, Garrelts' baseball coach at Buckley-Loda High School, said his young star came to him when it was his turn to pitch against a Kankakee area school and told him his arm was sore. Simmons didn't hesitate and scratched him from the lineup, but the sportswriters weren't happy. They wanted to see the pro prospect.
Simmons wasn't about to mess with the health of the most famous athlete Buckley or Buckley-Loda High School had ever produced. Nearly 20 years later Simmons can look back on that time and laugh.
Garrelts had made national news as a junior by striking out 22 batters, one over the minimum number, in a seven-inning game against Wellington. Two batters reached base on dropped third strikes.
The hurler could really bring it, his pitches clocking over 90 mph.
The word got out about Garrelts' 22-strikeout effort. A Philadelphia Phillies scout was on hand to watch Wellington's pitcher and saw Garrelts' performance.
After that, "scouts were calling all hours of the night wondering when Scott wat pitching," Simmons said. "If it looked like rain they'd want me to switch pitchers around."
In 1979 Garrelts would be selected in the first round of the major league draft by the San Francisco Giants.
But the scouts also liked what they saw of B-L's No. 2 pitcher, Mark Scheiwe, who would be drafted in the 15th round by the Chicago Cubs. The pair were interchangeable on more than just the mound. If Garrelts was pitching, Scheiwe would play shortstop and vice versa.
With Garrelts, in Simmons' estimation, the success was more natural.
"Scott was like he had a body like a god, 6-3 and a waist like 28 inches and he weighted 180 pounds. Mark Scheiwe was a farm boy and a hard worker. They both just excelled.
"Mark didn't throw slow by any stretch of the imagination. They clocked Scott like 93 mph and Mark was like 88-89. They both threw the curve, the drop ball, the knuckler."
Simmons' strong suit wasn't baseball. He was hired primarily as a basketball coach, having played the sport at traditional prep power Lawrenceville.
"Originally when I went to Buckley they said I didn't have to know much about baseball, just make out a lineup."
Scheiwe approached Simmons one day, the ex-coach said, and asked how Garrelts threw his knuckle ball. "I said, 'I don't have any idea,'" Simmons remembers.
"They knew what they could throw. I would just as soon see the heat."
Simmons wasn't always glad Garrelts was a hard thrower.
Feared for young players
"When we were playing the smaller schools and some of the freshmen and sophomores had to play and they might stand 4-8, I was a little bit scared for the guys. Luckily we got through it. It would have hurt me more than it would him" if one of the youngsters had been hit. Some just took every pitch, knowing they would never hit it.
B-L played a number of Kankakee area schools. During Garrelts' and Scheiwe's senior year "I had a good buddy at Bourbonnais Kirkman," Simmons recalls. "I called him up and told him if we played them the scouts would watch their guys too. Their last year we played every team in the Kankakee area."
Buckley has always been known as a baseball town. For Buckley-Loda to produce two pro prospects out of a class of 38 seniors is remarkable if not an indication of the draw of the sport in the Buckley area.
"The Dutchmasters were over there and most of those kids grew up watching good baseball," Simmons said. "They had a nice field there at Buckley."
The Rockets advanced to the sectional championship game in 1979, losing to Kankakee Bishop McNamara.
Garrelts would go on to pitch for the Giants. In his first major league start he went eight innings to pick up a 2-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. Eighteen days later he hurled a five-hit shutout in Houston. The losing pitcher: Nolan Ryan.
Garrelts, who for years struggled with his control rectified that by switching from a full windup to pitching from the stretch, but injuries would later sideline the greatest ptitcher Buckley has known. Garrelts later hung it up for good after trying a comeback with the San Diego Padres.
Scheiwe was also forced to the sidelines by an injury -- a pitcher's worst ninemare, a torn rotator cuff. Garrelts and Scheiwe make their homes in Louisiana and Lake Iroquois.
Scott was chosen for the 1985 National League All-Star team.
From an On-Line Giants fan Listserv:
From Giants-request Wed May 12 08:21 PDT 1993
From: email@example.com (Jim Anderson)
Subject: Scott Garrelts?
Date: Wed, 12 May 93 8:20:41 PDT
Could someone let me know what happened to Scott Garrelts? He was still with the team in rehab last year. Did he just quit or what?
From Giants-request Wed May 12 08:30 PDT 1993
Date: Wed, 12 May 93 08:30:39 PDT
From: Chuq itsbaseballseason Von Rospach <chuq>
Subject: Re: Scott Garrelts?
>Could someone let me know what happened to Scott Garrelts? He was still >with the team in rehab last year. Did he just quit or what?
Garrelts was a free agent after last year. With the arm problem, the Giants declined to offer him a new contract (according to an interview I heard with Quinn, they and their doctors felt the arm hadn't completely healed). He signed with the Padres and has been pitching on rehab with their Rancho Cucamonga A-ball team, where last I heard he was something like 1-4 with an ERA over 5.
He was originally only going to pitch down there a few games and then come up to the Pads, but clearly the arm isn't cooperating if those nubmers are correct (in other words, it sounds like the gyros made the right move)
Now, in theory Scotty is going to be pitching against the San Jose Giants in San Jose during this weekend's series. I don't know that for sure, though.
From Giants-request Fri May 14 08:35 PDT 1993
Date: Fri, 14 May 93 08:35:39 PDT
From: Chuq itsbaseballseason Von Rospach <chuq>
Subject: Scott Garrelts in San Jose Friday
For those interested, Scott Garrelts (former Giants pitcher now with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on rehab for his arm) is scheduled to start tonight against the San Jose Giants at San Jose Muni at 7:15. The first series between the teams (in Rancho), the Quakes dominated. C'mon out and say hi to Scotty as he tries to make it back into major league baseball (unfortunately, so far he's 0-4)
From Giants-request Fri May 21 14:41 PDT 1993
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Greg Gloss)
Date: Fri, 21 May 1993 14:41:55 -0700
Subject: Sweep of Reds in '90
I was fortunate enough to attend all 4 games of that fantastic series against the Reds in July '90. What I remember is the way each game was even more exciting than the previous one. I went home and got out my scorebooks to back up my memory...
Game 1, Thursday July 26th
Reds jump off to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first. Leach hit a two run homerun in the third and Butler drove in a run in the fourth. Game remained at 3-3 until the bottom of the 7th when Clark came to the plate with runners at 1st & 3rd with no outs. He hit into a 4-6-3 DP but Butler still scored what would be the winning run. Giants win 4-3.
Game 2, Friday July 27th
Reds jump off to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first (sound familiar?). Giants come back with one in the bottom of the first (Will Clark singled in Butler). Leach hit a solo homerun in the third to make it 3-2. Thompson homered in the 4th to tie it at 3-3. The score remained tied until the bottom of the 9th. Williams led off with a foul pop up. Carter singled to left and Garrelts went in to run for Carter. Thompson hit a comebacker that the pitcher threw away trying to get Garrelts at 2nd. Riles is announced as a pinch hitter for Uribe. The Reds bring in Meyers. Craig changes his mind and sends up Bathe to pinch hit. Single to right...Garrelts scores the winning run with one out in the 9th.
Game 3, Saturday July 28th
Giants get on the board first with a run in the bottom of the first. The Reds score two in the top of the 7th. They lead 2-1 going into the bottom of the 9th. Anderson pinch hits for Kingery and ties the game with a lead-off homerun (Tale of the Tape: 395 ft). Neither team scores in the 10th. Bedrosian came in with runners at 1st and 2nd with nobody out and got Oliver to hit into a 5-6-4 DP. The Reds failed to score in the 11th (Bedrosian gave up a walk and then one of the weirdest plays I ever saw happened...I thought I knew what happened but after watching several replays, I wasn't sure. With Sabo at first, Larkin hit a ball that bounced immediately and popped up in the air like a pop fly. Williams catches it and Sabo returns to first thinking the ball had been caught on the fly. Williams throws to Clark who gets both Larkin and Sabo for the DP. There was much discussion after the play but the umpires let it stand as called. Riles got an infield hit to lead off the bottom of the 11th. Butler and Leach strike out. Clark singles to Center advancing Riles. Mitchell singles to right to score Riles with the winning run with two out in the bottom of the 11th. Giants win 3-2! (For those who said Anderson's home run was a lead-off homerun and those who said the winning run scored with two out...you're both right!).
Game 4, Sunday July 29th
How can game 4 possibly be more exciting than the first 3???? Garrelts has a no-hitter going with 2 out in the top of the ninth. O'Neill breaks it up with a clean single to Center but the Giants complete the sweep with a 4-0 victory. Total attendance was announced as 58,365! Greg Gloss
Subject: Re: Fastest pitch?
From: email@example.com (C Kahrl)
In article <326E7489.5A44@geocities.com>, Rod <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> As far as I have heard, yes, it was Ryan, but it was officially 100.9 mph.
Like most broadcasting anecdotes, its probably wrong, both about the individual, and the speed. For example, in '86, Scott Garrelts was reported to have thrown pitches at 102 and 103. Are either of those then the record? Probably not, because without knowing whether or not the "fast" gun was used, or other factors, most of the information is anecdotal and of dubious value.