LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Mike Marshall, who made history as the first reliever to win the Cy Young Award while leading the Dodgers to the 1974 National League pennant, died Tuesday in Florida. He was 78.
FILE 1974: Mike Marshall #28 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during a Major League Baseball game circa 1974 at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Marshall played for the Dodgers from 1974-76. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
The Dodgers acquired Marshall, known as “Iron Mike,” following the 1973 season. In his first year with the franchise, he set Major League Baseball records for most appearances, relief innings, games finished and consecutive games pitched. He went 15-12 with a 2.42 ERA and 21 saves, according to the Dodgers.
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During his 14-year career, he played for Detroit, Seattle, Houston, Montreal, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Texas, Minnesota and the New York Mets. Throughout his career, he had a 97-112 record with 188 saves and an ERA of 3.14, according to the Dodgers.
A Michigan native, Marshall originally signed with the Phillies as a free agent in 1960 and began his pro career as a shortstop before switching to pitching in 1965. He made his MLB debut with the Detroit Tigers in 1967.
Marshall was the fourth Dodger to win the Cy Young Award, joining Don Newcombe, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax.
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In the 1974 postseason, he pitched in two NL Championship Series games against the Pirates and all five World Series games against Oakland, but the Dodgers said his most memorable World Series moment happened in Game 2 at Dodger Stadium.
“Oakland chased starter Don Sutton with a two-run rally in the ninth inning to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 3–2. With no outs and Joe Rudi on first base, manager Alvin Dark opted against attempting a sacrifice bunt with power hitter Gene Tenace, who struck out,” the franchise said in a statement. “Dark then replaced Rudi with Herb Washington, a world-class sprinter hired by Oakland owner Charlie Finley to be used exclusively as a ‘designated runner.’
“After throwing a first strike past pinch-hitter Angel Mangual, Marshall lobbed a pickoff throw to Garvey at first base. He also stepped off the pitcher’s mound three times and once faked another throw,” the release continued. “With Washington poised to steal second base, Marshall whirled and fired a strike at the bag. Washington, caught leaning, was nailed attempting to return to first base as Garvey applied the tag. Marshall then struck out Mangual to save the Dodgers’ only win of the Series.”
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Marshall is survived by his wife, Erica, and daughters Rebekah, Deborah and Kerry Jo.