Monday, January 11, 2010

Unpossible Autograph- Dave McNally

Dave McNally 1962-74 (died 2002)

It's about time that the greatest left-handed pitcher in Orioles history makes an appearance on my blog! Dave's 181 wins are the second most in team history, behind only HOFer Jim Palmer's 268 and are by far the most by a lefty.

He won 20 or more games in 4 consecutive seasons from 1968-71, and was one of 4 O's starters to do so in 1970, along with Palmer, Pat Dobson and Mike Cuellar. As far as modern Orioles records go, he has made the second most starts (384) again behind Palmer, has the third most complete games (120), second most shutouts (33), and sixth best ERA (3.18) (among pitchers who started at least 100 games for the O's).

He also made 3 All-Star teams, came in the top 4 of Cy Young voting in three consecutive years ('69-71) and received MVP votes four times. His best season was probably 1970 when he led the league in wins and games started.

Dave also contributed to the O's World Series Championship seasons in 1966 & '70. In his only start of the '70 WS, he even hit a grand slam and won the game for himself! And yes, that bat is in the HOF since that's the only time a pitcher took care of everything in a World Series game.

Over his career, he won 12 decisions in a row three different times including once when he made it all the way to 17 straight winning decisions. That's amazing! Roger Clemens is the only other pitcher to have ever done that. Crazy stuff. I don't think I appreciated just how good Dave was until researching this post.

Very, very impressive stuff. I definitely say that he is the second best Orioles pitcher of all-time behind Cakes.

Dave also did something to clear the way for today's players in every sport to make the money that they do. He, along with Andy Messersmith of the Dodgers, challenged the Reserve Clause,
which basically said that once a player's contract ended, they were still property of that team unless they negotiated a new contract with that same team or asked to be traded or released. The link explains it in much more detail if you are interested but to sum it up, their challenge led to the advent of free agency as we know it so that all teams could bid for a player's services.

Dave passed away due to lung cancer on 12/1/02 in Billings, Montana, where he had lived his entire life. I wish I had appreciated your career more while you were still with us!


Anonymous said...

Very interesting piece. I didn't know much about McNally beyond the string of four 20 win seasons.

Don't forget that Curt Flood paved the way for McNally first though!

Good Stuff!

Orioles Magic said...

Thanks for checking out the blog buddy!