The Legend of Pinky Deras- The Greatest Little Leaguer there Ever Was
Since Little League Baseball was founded in 1939, about 40 million kids have played the sport. The list includes future Hall of Famers like Carl Yastrzemski, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan, and hundreds of other future Major Leaguers.
But of all the kids who ever played Little League, the best of the best was a boy you’ve probably never heard of: Art “Pinky” Deras. In the summer of 1959, he led the team from Hamtramck, Mich., to the Little League World Series title, and in the process, he put together a Little League season the likes of which we might never see again.
As a pitcher, he racked up an 18-0 record with 16 shutouts and 10 no-hitters. In 108 innings, he struck out 298 batters - only 26 outs came in the field. At the plate, he batted .641 with 33 home runs and 112 runs batted in. His pitches were timed at 71 mph (the equivalent of a 100 mph Major League fastball), and his bat speed was timed at 105 mph. That was almost as fast as Mickey Mantle was swinging the bat that season - just 115 mph.
Indeed, there’s never been anyone like Pinky Deras.
His amazing story comes to life in “The Legend of Pinky Deras: The Greatest Little-Leaguer There Ever Was,” a Brian Kruger and Buddy Moorehouse film that was nominated in 2011 for an Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. . Pinky received a ton of national publicity back in 1959, but then he fell off the map. In the half-century since he lit the Little League world on fire, there have been no films about him, no magazine stories, not even a single newspaper article. Until now. Whatever happened to the greatest Little League player who ever lived? Watch “The Legend of Pinky Deras” and find out.