September 29th, 2010

September 29 – Happy Birthday Mike McCormick

On September 19, 1970 in an afternoon game at Tiger Stadium in front of fewer than 9,000 fans, Yankee Manager Ralph Houk inserted veteran lefthander Mike McCormick in the game to pitch the bottom half of the seventh inning with the Yankees trailing by three runs. McCormick held the Tigers scoreless in the seventh but gave up a home run to backup catcher Jim Price in the eighth inning. In the Yankee half of the ninth New York scored five runs on five singles a walk and a wild pitch, to take a 7-6 lead. Jack Aker pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth and in the process saved Mike McCormick’s 134th and final big league victory. McCormick had joined New York’s pitching staff in July of that season when the Yankees traded pitcher John Cumberland to the Giants in exchange for the 1967 NL Cy Young Award winner. In his first start with his new team, Mike lasted seven innings and beat the Angels, but he’d been roughed up as both a starter and reliever in each subsequent appearance. The Yankees ended up releasing the Pasadena, CA native in spring training the following year and after trying to hang on with the Royals, McCormick ended his very good 16-season big league career.

He may have had a lot more than those two wins in pinstripes if the Yankees were inclined to pay bonuses back when Mike was a high school pitching sensation in the early fifties. New York’s arrogant front office felt it was a privilege for any young man to even be offered a contract to play for their organization so they refused to offer signing bonuses. The New York Giants were the only team to offer McCormick one, in the amount of $50,000 and the youngster grabbed it. In addition to the Giants, Yankees and Royals, Mike also pitched for Baltimore and the Senators during his career.

McCormick shares his September 29th birthday with this former Yankee outfielder, this one-time shortstop prospect and this one-time Yankee pitcher.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1970 NYY 2 0 1.000 6.10 9 4 3 0 0 0 20.2 26 15 14 2 13 12 1.887
16 Yrs 134 128 .511 3.73 484 333 69 91 23 12 2380.1 2281 1100 986 256 795 1321 1.292
SFG (11 yrs) 107 96 .527 3.68 357 252 52 78 19 11 1822.2 1737 833 745 195 616 1030 1.291
WSA (2 yrs) 19 22 .463 3.42 85 53 13 11 4 1 374.0 351 162 142 40 87 189 1.171
BAL (2 yrs) 6 10 .375 4.40 29 23 0 2 0 0 153.1 153 80 75 19 74 88 1.480
KCR (1 yr) 0 0 9.31 4 1 1 0 0 0 9.2 14 10 10 0 5 2 1.966
NYY (1 yr) 2 0 1.000 6.10 9 4 3 0 0 0 20.2 26 15 14 2 13 12 1.887
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/29/2013.