Curt Day pitched what is called "cross-fire" or for a right-handed pitcher, he stood to the right of the stake. Before addressing the stake, Curt would swing the shoe a few times by his side, apparently to relax his muscles and get the feel of the shoe. Curt held the horseshoe slightly cocked almost 45 degrees with the open end toward the stake (pictured above), top blade touching the bill of his cap or very close and lining up the center of the shoe with a point a few inches up from the bottom of the stake (Curt is quoted in Ottie W. Reno's book "Pitching Championship Horseshoes"). He would place his left foot beside his right foot and about one full step in front of his right foot and stand up straight with his weight on his right foot. (At one time he was quoted in Reno's book as having both his feet side by side and taking a long step.) All of these addressing the stake motions were slow, deliberate and methodical.
His backswing was straight back about shoulder or neck level with the
shoe still about 45 degrees cocked at his side on the way back and horizontal
at the end of the backswing and horizontal back by his side on the forward
swing. He would take a modest step with his left foot, bend his body
while swinging his right hand up and finishing just over the center of
his head. After the release of the shoe, his follow through would
vary slightly. The trajectory of the shoe had the open end points
down about 45 degrees at the peak of the trajectory during flight and the
closed end dropping and catching up with the points for a 3 point landing
on the stake like a 747 airplane making a 3 point landing.
All of the above observations by me are obviously subjective from my perspective, but this is the best description I can make of the pitching style of Curt Day. I have heard that when a shoe was off target, he immediately made an adjustment on the next pitch to correct his delivery, as I'm sure most good pitchers are able to do. Although I served as secretary of the local club for one summer year (1976?), I did not know Curt Day personally off the courts. (It happens that one of Curt's grandsons, Pat Day, became a close friend of my oldest son Nick Wolf.) When Curt did talk to someone, he was very soft spoken and kindly. With a good sense of humor off the court, Curt Day was very serious and all business on the court with the perfect etiquette of a gentlemen. Curt recently gave advice to a fellow horseshoe pitcher and said to improve his game, the best suggestion he could make is that the pitcher enter more tournaments and go head to head with others. Practice is good, but competition is the test of what has been practiced and helps the pitcher focus under pressure. Another person told me that Curt Day once said that growth of the sport begins at each local horseshoe pitching club.
There will never be another Curt Day, but then each of us are unique
in our own ways. Curt accomplished a lot in the sport that he loved
and played whenever he could. With a few more breaks, he could have
won a few more world titles, but in his twenty-plus years of World class
competitive horseshoe pitching, he established himself as a very tough
opponent to beat with nerves of steel. Curt Day Horseshoe Courts
in Frankfort, Indiana will hopefully see some more strong years with active
pitchers and maybe, someday, another Indiana State Champion, . . . or possibly
another World Champion? We have the legacy of Curt Day to inspire
us! And we know we have some horseshoe pitchers that fate placed
in Clinton County who may soon answer the call.
Times Photo / Marla Miller
Curt Day in local Frankfort Times newspaper July 22, 2000
83 years old in the year 2000
"Alignment is the toughest thing to have and keep", Curt Day said. Curt added that "the hardest thing is to not get discouraged" and that "the key is having the confidence that you can do it.
against each of his opponents in the
World Championship Tournaments