In the late 70’s the social and political atmosphere in the country was eating into the fabric of The Hill. By 1979 fortunes had dimmed and they had lost the Hill-IJ game three times in four years. It seemed that desperate times called for desperate measures.
Here is the account of Mark Goldstone, Zeus VIII, on the prep, playing, and celebratory aftermath of what has been named “The Return to Dominance Game”.
“We were determined to bring the Hill traditions and spirit back despite it being a hippie and counter cultural time. So we trained twice a day for the big game religiously and made sure that we ignored the campers and avoided Herb.
We won the big game 22-2 in what was billed as the RTD- Return to Dominance or perhaps Return to Dynasty! The Spirit of the Hill was back.
The reason for the Frank’s photo is that we partied at Frank’s that night to celebrate and the 11 or so of us managed to ring up a restaurant and bar bill of $88, which was a then record for Frank’s and represented a lot of hamburgers, fries and pitchers of beer for 1979.
Game MVP and star pitcher Curt Heffler hit the pitchers of beer especially hard and had a difficult time walking back from the Pagoda to his cabin in Hill 4 that night and barely avoided walking into a tree.
Herb was in the Pagoda and merely said ,’Curt- have a good night. Go to sleep.’ “
Heffler had plenty of reason to celebrate this victory having dominated on the mound and contributing two homers to the cause, including a prodigious shot to right field that landed in the pool.
Curt pitched again the next year and has the distinction of pitching for the Hill the last two years before the “slow-pitch era” began in 1981.
The plan kind of worked as the Hill won the Hill-IJ Game four out of the next six years. This team was an investment in the future and included future Hill leadership on its roster-Zeus X Fred Hecker (1982) and Zeus XII Hal Brooks (1985-87).