Results tagged ‘ marty mchale ’

October 30 – Happy Birthday Marty McHale

marty mchaleI’m sure you never heard of former Yankee pitcher Marty McHale. Heck, he only pitched for New York for just three seasons, compiled a pretty horrible 11-27 record doing so and his pinstriped career began 100 years ago, so why would you? But the right-handed McHale was anything but just an ex Yankee pitcher nobody ever heard of.

For starters, he was actually very talented on the mound. He was known for his spitball but he also threw a real good curve and a pretty good fastball. At the University of Maine, he was a three-sport star and when he threw three consecutive no-hitters for the Black Bears’ baseball team, several major league clubs came calling. A native of Stoneham, Massachusetts, which is a suburb of Boston, McHale accepted a $2,000 bonus to sign with the Red Sox. He then spent the next three seasons bouncing back and forth between the minors and Beantown, trying to stick to the team’s big league roster.

He never did win a game for the Red Sox but he did establish a singing career. The guy was an incredible Irish tenor. Babe Ruth, who was famous for never remembering the face or the name of a teammate had no problem remembering McHale, telling reporters the pitcher had the best singing voice he ever heard. During his days with Boston, the pitcher became part of a singing group called the Red Sox quartet that became a very popular act around town. After joining the Yankees, McHale teamed up with the New York Giants Mike Donlin to form a very popular vaudeville act. The venerable Variety Magazine, thought enough of McHale’s vocal ability to dub him “Baseball’s Caruso.”

In any event, the Yankees purchased McHale’s contract in August of the 1913 regular season and Frank Chance, the New York skipper at the time, fell in love with the guy. He got seven starts in the next two months and though he was just 2-4 in those starts, his ERA was a very respectable 2.96.

The singing pitcher was good enough to earn the Opening Day pitching assignments for New York in both the 1914 and ’15 seasons and he won both games. But the Yankee ball clubs he pitched for were some of the worst in franchise history and McHale had a tough time earning winning decisions. He went 6-16 during his second year with the team and just 3-7 in 1915.

The Yankees then released him and he ended up pitching one more year in the big leagues before hanging up his glove for good after the 1916 season. He was 29 years-old with a wife and two boys at home. He probably realized careers in both baseball and show business were not conducive to a stable family life so he started a third career as a New York stockbroker. He retired from M. J. McHale Securities 52 years later. Baseball’s Caruso had conquered Wall Street too.

McHale shares his birthday with this former Yankee DHthis former Yankee third baseman, and this former Yankee reliever with a hard-to-pronounce last name.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1913 NYY 2 4 .333 2.96 7 6 1 4 1 0 48.2 49 21 16 1 10 11 1.212
1914 NYY 6 16 .273 2.97 31 23 6 12 0 1 191.0 195 82 63 3 33 75 1.194
1915 NYY 3 7 .300 4.25 13 11 1 6 0 0 78.1 86 45 37 1 19 25 1.340
6 Yrs 11 30 .268 3.57 64 44 13 23 1 1 358.1 381 182 142 7 81 131 1.289
BOS (3 yrs) 0 3 .000 5.90 8 4 3 1 0 0 29.0 41 27 19 1 13 18 1.862
NYY (3 yrs) 11 27 .289 3.28 51 40 8 22 1 1 318.0 330 148 116 5 62 111 1.233
CLE (1 yr) 0 0 5.56 5 0 2 0 0 0 11.1 10 7 7 1 6 2 1.412
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/30/2013.