Mike McCormick (pitcher)

Michael Francis McCormick (born September 29, 1938) is a retired American baseball pitcher who played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the New York and San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals from 1956 to 1971. He batted and threw left-handed and served primarily as a starting pitcher.

Signed by the Giants as a bonus baby, McCormick went directly to the major leagues and made his debut on September 3, 1956. After spending seven seasons with the organization, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles and played two years there before being dealt again, this time to the Washington Senators. He returned to the Giants in 1967 and in his first season back with the team, he became the first pitcher in Giants franchise history to win the Cy Young Award. In the middle of the 1970 season, he was traded to the New York Yankees, who released him before the start of the next season. He then signed with the Kansas City Royals, with whom he played his last game on May 22, 1971.

Mike McCormick
Mike McCormick 1969.jpeg
Born: September 29, 1938 (age 80)
Pasadena, California
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 3, 1956, for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
May 22, 1971, for the Kansas City Royals
MLB statistics
Win–loss record134–128
Earned run average3.73
Career highlights and awards

Early life

McCormick was born on September 29, 1938 in Pasadena, California. He studied at Mark Keppel High School in Alhambra, California.[1] During this time, he played in American Legion Baseball, where he won 49 out of the 53 games he pitched, threw four no-hitters and struck out 26 batters in a game.[2] After he graduated from high school, he married Carolyn Koehler on August 2, 1956.[3] Several weeks later, on August 31, the New York Giants signed him as an amateur free agent. Although McCormick was committed to attending college at the University of Southern California,[4] the Giants offered him a signing bonus of $50,000 to forego university and join the organization. Because of the Bonus Rule, he could not be placed in the minor leagues for two years.[5] As a result, he went directly to the major leagues and immediately began training with the first team the day after he signed.[2]

Professional career

McCormick made his major league debut for the Giants on September 3, 1956, at the age of 17,[1] relieving Rubén Gómez in the ninth inning and retiring all three batters he faced in a 5–1 loss against the Philadelphia Phillies.[6] He made two starts later in the season, and finished with a 0–1 win–loss record and a 9.45 earned run average (ERA) in ​6 23 innings pitched.[1]

McCormick threw a five-inning rain-shortened no-hitter against the Phillies on June 12, 1959, allowing one walk.[7] The Phillies were able to secure 1 hit (and 1 run) in the bottom of the 6th inning, but the game was called because of the rain.[8] Because the 6th inning was never finished, the game statistics reverted to the completion of the last full inning, securing his no-hitter.[9] However, due to a statistical rule change in 1991, no-hitters must last at least nine innings to count. As a result of the retroactive application of the new rule, this game and thirty-five others are no longer considered no-hitters.

At the end of the 1966 season, McCormick returned to the Giants in a trade that brought Cap Peterson and Bob Priddy to the Senators.[10]

The 1967 season saw McCormick churn out one of the best statistical years in his career. He led the National League (NL) in wins with 22,[1] and defeated every NL team other than the Giants that year.[11] At the end of the season, McCormick won the Cy Young Award,[12] garnering 90% of the vote and 18 out of 20 first place votes.[13] In doing so, he became the first Giants pitcher to win the award, and was the only one to do so for 41 years until Tim Lincecum won it in 2008.[14]

McCormick is recognized as the player who hit the 500th home run by an MLB pitcher.[15] He was also responsible for giving up Hank Aaron's 500th home run.[16] Because of these two feats, he personalized his license plate with the words "Mr. 500".[15]

Personal life

After retiring from baseball, McCormick went on to pursue a career in securities business that he himself established over several MLB offseasons. After three years in that field, he switched to office machines and copiers, working for Ricoh and then Danka, before retiring in 2002.[5] He serves annually as a guest instructor for the San Francisco Giants during spring training.[4] He also conducts the team's fantasy camps and occasionally commentates on Giants' games.[5]

McCormick's Cy Young Award plaque was damaged in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake after it fell off the wall of his Cupertino condominium. Although he was initially going to get the crack at the back repaired, he decided against it, noting how "it had more character now."[17] He now houses it in a special room along with other memorabilia from his career.[18]

McCormick had four children from his first marriage to Carolyn.[5] He remarried to Dierdre.[19] After retiring from Danka, they moved from Sunnyvale, California[2] and settled in Pinehurst, North Carolina.[5] At the O'Neal School in Southern Pines, North Carolina, McCormick assisted the school's baseball program and donated his baseball memorabilia to the school to help them with their auctions.[20]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Mike McCormick Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Bitker, Steve (February 28, 2012). The Original San Francisco Giants: The Giants Of '58. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  3. ^ Baseball Register. C.C. Spink & Son. 1965. p. 276. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Schott, Tom; Peters, Nick (2003). The Giants Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing LLC. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e Johanson, Matt (2005). Giants: Where Have You Gone?. Sports Publishing LLC. pp. 19–24. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  6. ^ "September 3, 1956 New York Giants at Philadelphia Phillies Play by Play and Box Score". Baseball-Reference.com. September 3, 1956. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  7. ^ "Jun 12, 1959, Giants at Phillies Play by Play and Box Score". baseball-reference.org. sports-reference.org. June 12, 1959. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  8. ^ "San Francisco Giants 3, Philadelphia Phillies 0". retrosheet.org. June 12, 1959. Retrieved April 30, 2016. [G]ame called for rain in the bottom of the sixth; the Phillies had the bases loaded with no one out with the score 4-1[.]
  9. ^ "McCormick Hurls 5-Inning No-Hitter: Rain Preserves 3-0 Giant Win: Ashburn Single in Phil Half Of Sixth Canceled by Downpour". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Associated Press (AP). June 13, 1959. p. 12. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  10. ^ "Mike McCormick Returns To Giants". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. December 14, 1966. p. 10. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  11. ^ "McCormick Hits Two Milestones". The Evening Independent. St. Petersburg. Associated Press. August 15, 1967. p. 15A. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  12. ^ "McCormick Wins Young Hill Award". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. November 1, 1967. p. 29. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  13. ^ "1967 Awards Voting – NL Cy Young Voting". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  14. ^ "Lincecum beats out Webb, is Giants' second Cy Young winner". ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures. Associated Press. November 13, 2008. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  15. ^ a b Embrey, Tom (April 15, 2009). "Cy Young Winner Will Share Story". The Pilot. Southern Pines. Retrieved September 19, 2013. (subscription required)
  16. ^ "500th Home Run By Aaron". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. July 15, 1968. p. 2. Retrieved September 19, 2013.
  17. ^ Baggarly, Andrew (November 9, 2008). "McCormick Is Eager To Share Fame". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved September 19, 2013. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Brown, Daniel (September 9, 2007). "McCormick Would Gladly Share His Cy Young-winning Status". San Jose Mercury News. p. 7C. Retrieved September 19, 2013. (subscription required)
  19. ^ Chapin, Dwight (March 24, 2002). "Where Are They Now – Mike McCormick – Years with Giants more than a left-handed compliment". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved September 18, 2013.
  20. ^ "Pitcher Mike McCormick Talks About Baseball". The Pilot. Southern Pines. April 15, 2009. Retrieved September 19, 2013. (subscription required)

External links

List of baseball players who went directly to Major League Baseball

This is a list of baseball players who went directly to the major leagues. They are distinguished as a group by the fact that they made their North American professional debut with a Major League Baseball franchise without previously having played at the professional level (excluding fall leagues and winter leagues), such as minor league affiliates of major league teams, the Negro Leagues, Japanese professional leagues, or independent professional teams.

After their major league debuts, many of these players played in professional leagues other than Major League Baseball. Included are the Bonus Babies, who joined major league rosters from 1947 to 1957 and from 1962 to 1965 under the Bonus Rule.

In recent years, the practice of players going directly into the majors has become rare: it has only occurred eight times since 1980, and only twice since 2000.

Michael McCormick

Michael or Mike McCormick may refer to:

Michael E. McCormick, professor

Mike McCormick (third baseman) (1883–1953), Scottish baseball player

Mike McCormick (outfielder) (1917–1976), American baseball player

Mike McCormick (pitcher) (born 1938), American baseball player

Mike McCormick, singer with Canadian band The Arrogant Worms


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