Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mickey Lolich (#414)

Mickey Lolich was a starting pitcher for the Tigers for 13 seasons (1963-75). He also played for the Mets and Padres, retiring in 1979. He still holds the Tigers’ record for strikeouts and shutouts.

Lolich was signed by the Tigers in 1958. He pitched in the minors from 1959 to May 1963, and made his big-league debut on May 12th (my birthday!), pitching the last 2 innings of a blowout loss to the Indians.

Beginning in his 2nd season, Mickey won at least 14 games for 11 consecutive seasons, including a league-leading 25 wins in 1971 along with 22 wins in 1972. He won 17 games during the Tigers’ championship 1968 season, but that was FOURTEEN LESS than teammate Denny McLain’s 31 wins. He also won 3 games in the 1968 World Series, including the deciding game #7 against Bob Gibson.

Lolich made the all-star team in ’69, ’71, and ’72, and finished 2nd and 3rd in the Cy Young voting in ’71 and ’72. In 1971 he also led the AL in strikeouts (308) and complete games (29).

After the 1975 season, he was traded to the Mets for Rusty Staub, and struggled to a 8-13 record in 30 starts in 1976.

He retired after the season, sitting out 1977, but came back with the Padres for 1978-79 as a reliever.

1 comment:

Douglas said...

I'm amazed how pitching rich the Tigers were in the late 60's. Many players had to go elsewhere for fame because their weren't enough spots. Pat Dobson, Dick Drago, Jim Rooker, and Mike Marshall in particular who had a sub 2.00 ERA in 67 and still had to spend next year in the minors.