April 26 – Happy Birthday Sal Maglie
Baseball pundits knew this right-hander was something special when he made his big league debut with the Giants in 1945 and three of his five wins were complete game shutouts. But instead of returning to the Polo Grounds, Maglie went south of the border for more money to pitch in the Mexican League. That move got him banned from the Majors until 1949. Nicknamed “the Barber” because he had a tendency to throw up and in close shaves at opposing batters, Maglie rejoined the Giants in 1950 and during the next three seasons was one of the very best pitchers on the League. When he turned 38, the Giants released him and after some time with the Indians, he joined Brooklyn in 1956, went 13-5 and finished second in that year’s Cy Young and MVP votes.
He didn’t put on the pinstripes until 1957, when he was 40 years of age. He still had enough in that right arm to pitch his 25th career shutout as a Yankee. He retired after the 1958 season and passed away in 1992 at the age of 75.
The Yankees ended up releasing the 41-year-old Maglie on June 14 of 1958 and the next day acquired another 41-year-old pitcher named Virgil Trucks. Trucks, like Maglie was one of baseballs better right-handers in the 1950’s with both Detroit and the White Sox. Trucks and Maglie were also both born on April 26, 1917. Maglie went on to become a big league pitching coach who was featured prominently in Jim Bouton’s “Ball Four” book, which chronicles Bouton’s 1969 season as a pitcher with the old Seattle Pilots. Suffice it to say that the “Bulldog” was not a fan of the “Barber’s” coaching methodology.
|NYG (7 yrs)||95||42||.693||3.13||221||171||23||77||20||8||1297.2||1216||512||451||117||434||654||1.272|
|BRO (2 yrs)||19||11||.633||2.89||47||43||1||13||4||1||292.1||248||107||94||33||78||158||1.115|
|CLE (2 yrs)||0||2||.000||3.82||12||2||4||0||0||2||30.2||32||16||13||1||9||13||1.337|
|NYY (2 yrs)||3||1||.750||3.10||13||6||7||1||1||3||49.1||49||18||17||4||16||16||1.318|
|STL (1 yr)||2||6||.250||4.75||10||10||0||2||0||0||53.0||46||31||28||14||25||21||1.340|