Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dave McNally (#193)

Here is Dave McNally, months before leading the Orioles to their first-ever World Series championship, a 4-0 sweep of the defending champion Dodgers. In his 4th full season, McNally led the ’66 starting rotation in starts, innings pitched, and strikeouts, while compiling a 13-6 record. (2nd-year man Jim Palmer edged him out with 15 wins.)

Dave was signed by the O’s in 1960, and made his major-league debut at age 19 during the last week of September 1962, with a complete-game shutout of the Kansas City Athletics.

In 1963, McNally began the season in the bullpen, but in mid-June was promoted to the starting rotation that included veteran Robin Roberts, as well as Steve Barber, Milt Pappas, and Mike McCormick. Dave replaced Chuck Estrada, who had compiled a 9-17 record in the previous season.

McNally and Barber both had off-years in 1964, each winning only 9 games, while Roberts, Pappas, and rookie Wally Bunker all won in double figures (with 19 wins for Bunker).

In 1965 Dave won 11 games, as every starter but Roberts (who, at age 38, compiled a 5-7 record and was released at the end of July) was having a good season.

Jim Palmer joined the rotation in 1966, replacing Pappas (who was traded to the Reds for Frank Robinson). McNally, Palmer, Bunker, Barber, and closer Stu Miller, along with the batting of Frank and Brooks Robinson, propelled the Orioles to the World Series. Dave started games 1 and 4 in the '66 Series.

Here are 2 famous photos of McNally from the Series:

After an injury-filled 1967, Dave bounced back and won 20 or more games each season from 1968-71, including a league-leading 24 in 1970. He also made 3 all-star teams during that stretch, and pitched in the '69, '70, and '71 World Series, as well as the '73 and '74 ALCS.

McNally pitched for the Orioles through the 1974 season, then was traded to the Montreal Expos. He played the 1975 season without a contract, then after the season he and Angels’ Dodgers' pitcher Andy Messersmith challenged baseball’s reserve clause (as Curt Flood had done 6 years earlier). This time, McNally and Messersmith were granted free agency, the first to achieve that. However, McNally had not intended to continue playing, and retired. This story is told in more detail by blogger CommishBob near the end of this post.

Dave finished 2nd among Orioles’ starting pitchers of his era in games, innings pitched, and wins:

McNally retired to his hometown of Billings, Montana, and passed away in 2002 from lung cancer at age 60.


Rumpleforeskin said...

Messersmith was actually with the Dodgers when that free agent thing came about. He went to the Braves the next season.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Thanks for the correction. (I must have been picturing my 1969 Messersmith card when I wrote that.)

Andy wore #17 with the Braves, and instead of his name on the back, he wore 'CHANNEL' (because I think WTBS is on channel 17 in Atlanta). A marketing ploy by Ted Turner!

sg488 said...

Great post about a great pitcher.Always thought if he could have won 20 just one more time ,he would be in the Hall of Fame.