Mike McCormick (mccormi03)

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Michael Francis McCormick

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Biographical Information[edit]

Mike McCormick threw a rain-shortened "no-hitter" on June 12, 1959 despite allowing a hit - the no-hitter went five innings, then he allowed a hit in the 6th, which was eliminated from the official records as rain cancelled the game before the inning was completed.

He later won the 1967 National League Cy Young Award, the first year there was a separate award in the National League and the American League; Jim Lonborg was the winner in the Al. He was the only San Francisco Giants hurler to win a Cy Young Award until Tim Lincecum in 2008 and 2009.

He was a bonus baby, making his first appearance with the New York Giants in September of 1956 shortly before his 18th birthday. He then spent the entire 1957 season with the team, pitching 24 times. He did not play in the minors until 1964, when the Baltimore Orioles demoted him to the Rochester Red Wings. He became a full-time member of the Giants' starting rotation in 1958, their first year playing in San Francisco, going 11-8, 4.59 in 42 games at the age of 19. He looked like he was headed to stardom in 1960, when he went 15-12, 2.70, and was named to the All-Star team in both 1960 and 1961 at a time when there were two All-Star Games played each year. However, he regressed badly after that. When the Giants won a pennant in 1962, he was just 5-5, 5.38 and did not play in the World Series which the Giants lost in seven games to the New York Yankees.

Following the pennant-winning season, the Giants traded him to the Baltimore Orioles as part of a blockbuster trade that saw Stu Miller and John Orsino accompany him to Baltimore in return for Jimmie Coker, Jack Fisher and Billy Hoeft. His 1963 season was another poor one, however, as he was just 6-8, 4.30. He was 0-2, 4.19 in just 4 games in 1964 when the Orioles sent him down to Rochester. He found his groove again there, going 12-8, 3.29. That raised the interest of the Washington Senators who acquired him in a trade for minor leaguer Stephan Herman just before the 1965 season. He bounced back with a very solid year, going 8-8, 3.36 for a team that finished in 8th place, 22 games below .500. He continued to pitch well for a weak team in 1966, as his 11-14 record obscured his solid ERA of 3.46 in 216 innings. That is when the Giants decided to give him a second look, sending OF Cap Peterson and P Bob Priddy to Washington to acquire him on December 13th.

The trade set up his career year in 1967 when he won the Cy Young Award and was named the NL Comeback Player of the Year. He was 22-10, 2.85 that season, leading the league in wins. Ironically, the Giants were a strong team throughout the 1960s, almost always one of the top three teams in the National League, and had two future Hall of Famers in their starting rotation in Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry, yet it was was McCormick who was their only Cy Young Award winner. He fell back in 1968, the so-called "Year of the Pitcher", as his ERA shot up to 3.58 and his record was only 12-14. He had his last very good season in 1969, when he was 11-9, 3.34. He started poorly in 1970, going 3-4, 6.20 in 23 games, losing his spot in the starting rotation, and July 20th, he was traded to the New York Yankees for John Cumberland. He went 2-0, 6.10 during the last two months of the season, then was released at the end of spring training in 1971. The Kansas City Royals gave him a brief look that year, but he was released after giving up 10 runs in 9 2/3 innings, his career over. Since he had started in the majors at such a young age, he was still only 32 at that point.

He made his first appearance on a baseball card in the 1958 Topps set; however, the picture on the card is that of teammate Ray Monzant, who looked a lot like him, but who was right-handed. He got to feature on many other cards, though, given his relatively long career. He passed away in 2020 at the age of 81 following a long battle with Parkinson's disease.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time NL All-Star (1960 & 1961)
  • NL Cy Young Award Winner (1967)
  • 1967 NL Comeback Player of the Year Award
  • NL ERA Leader (1960)
  • NL Wins Leader (1967)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1960 & 1967)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1967)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1959-1961, 1966 & 1967)

NL Cy Young Award
1966 1967 1968
ML Award Mike McCormick Bob Gibson

Related Sites[edit]