Anthony Taranto, better known as Chris to his family and friends, closed out his high school baseball career at Notre Dame High School with 12 no-hitters from 1959 through 1961.
He set a national record with 9 hitters in 1961, a record that still stands to this day.Taranto tossed 6 consecutive no-hit games that season, which was tied by Tom Engle of Ohio in 1989.
Many of those no-hitters were tossed at the old Notre Dame High School baseball field in Biloxi. In May of 2011 I sat down with Taranto who talked about his high school baseball career.
He said,"Grace of God I got lucky. Had a lot of support behind me."
Taranto said his dad, J.T. Red, handed him a baseball at the age of four.
"As a youngster my daddy would work with me," stated Taranto. "He made me get out in the yard and throw everyday. He was a big baseball fan."
When Chris was 15-years-old his dad passed away. Notre Dame baseball coach Tony Cintran stepped in and made sure Taranto would excel on the mound. In 1960 and '61, Notre Dame captured State Championship titles.
He threw at the time what many observers believed was a 96-miles-per-hour fast ball.
Taranto said as the no-hit games piled-up, fans jammed the ballparks.
"Lot of pressure there," said Taranto. "Every ball game, a little bit more pressure on you and you just did what you could do, that's all you can do."
On May 19th, 1961, Life Magazine profiled Chris Taranto and his pitching success. He would have made the cover, but the nation's first astronaut in space, Alan Shepard, got the nod.
Taranto posted 26 Wins, 2 Losses, 335 Strikeouts, 130 Walks, allowed only 38 hits, and 39 runs in 183 innings pitched during his high school career.
Taranto told me on that sunny day in May of 2011 that he would love to see someone break his single season high school no-hit record of 9.
"Well records, they are made to be broken. 50 years is a long time, I think it's time for somebody to break it,"stated Taranto.
Anthony "Chris" Taranto's visitation is set for 6:00 p.m. Thursday at Bradford-O'Keefe funeral home on Howard Avenue in Biloxi, followed by a memorial service at 7.