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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The only Nittany Lion pitcher to throw two no-hitters and a leader of Penn State baseball’s run to the 1963 College World Series, Bob Fenton, passed away Wednesday at age 76 in his home in Sandwich, Massachusetts.
A native of nearby Phillipsburg, Pennsylvania, Fenton, was a three-year letterwinner (1961-63) for Penn State on the diamond. The lefty hurler was the first Nittany Lion to be named to the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-Region Team twice (1962, 1963). In addition to tossing two no-hitters in 1963, a Penn State single-season and career record, Fenton also holds team records for strikeouts in relief in a game (13), shutouts in a season (4) and complete games in a season (10, tied with Ed Drapcho’s 1955 effort). Fenton’s 106.1 innings pitched in 1963 were unequaled until 1998 when eventual Major Leaguer Nate Bump tied the mark, and unsurpassed until 2000 when Pete Yodis tossed 114.2 innings. Fenton also held the team’s single-season ERA record (minimum 25 IP) for 10 years with a 0.95 ERA in 1961. Additionally, his 10 wins in 1963 and eight wins in 1962 rank in ties for third and eighth, respectively, on Penn State’s single-season wins ledger, and his 105 strikeouts in 1963 rank as the fourth most in a season. On the Nittany Lion career charts, Fenton ranks tied for fourth with five shutouts and seventh with 19 wins.
In 1963, Fenton led the Nittany Lions with a 10-2 record and 1.94 ERA, keeping the opposing bats silent against Rider and Cornell. Penn State made its fourth College World Series appearance and posted a 14-6 record for the year in what was also Chuck Medlar’s first season as head coach.
Following the conclusion of the 1963 College World Series and his Penn State baseball career, Fenton joined the Cape Cod Baseball League that summer and ended up making the region his home, as he began teaching history and coaching baseball at Sandwich High School in 1964. He coached the baseball team until 2000, and the school’s field was named “Fenton Field” in his honor upon his retirement from coaching. Fenton continued to teach until 2012.
Fenton is survived by his wife of 55 years, Mary Ann; his brother, Harry, and his wife Joanne; daughters Robin (Right Field) Fenton and Lynda (Left Field) Fenton; three grandsons, two great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Fenton was preceded in death by his daughter Cynthia (Center Field) Fenton, in 2012.
Funeral arrangements can be found here.