Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

November 16, 1974 Sporting News

Marshall First Relief Ace to Win Cy Young
The Sporting News
November 16, 1974
by Jack Lang

NEW YORK, NY:  Mike Marshall made baseball history when he appeared in relief in 106 games for the Dodgers this year.  Almost a month after the season ended, he still was making history by becoming the first relief pitcher ever to win the Cy Young Award.

The 24-man committee of the Baseball Writers' Association of America made Mike an overwhelming choice for the National League honors by giving him 17 first-place votes and a total of 96 points--six more than Catfish Hunter gained in winning the American League Cy Young Award.

Mike thus joins Jim Konstanty of the 1950 Phillies as the only relief pitchers to win one of the two major awards voted on annually by the BBWAA.  Konstanty was the National League's Most Valuable Player in 1950--a prize for which Marshall is also eligible.

Since the BBWAA began voting on the Cy Young Award in 1956, it had always gone to the starters--the big winners.  Until Tom Seaver won it last year, no pitcher ever had won it with under 20 victories (Tom had 19).  Now comes Marshall to become the first relief pitcher ever to achieve this recognition.

Marshall's only competition for the Young Award came from his teammate, Andy Messersmith.  Andy and Phil Niekro of the Atlanta Braves were the only 20-game winners produced in the N.L. this year.

Messersmith received five first-place votes and 66 points to finish in the runner-up spot behind the man who won 15 games and saved 21 more for the pennant-winning Dodgers.

Two others--Don Sutton of the Dodgers and Phil Niekro--each received one first-place vote.  Niekro finished in third place with 15 points. Sutton was fourth with 12. Not one pitcher was named on every ballot. Marshall received the most votes, being named on 22 ballots.  Messersmith was on 20.

Buzz Capra, a 16-game winner and the league's earned-run-average leader with 2.28, received one third-place vote to finish in a last-place tie with Lynn McGlothen of the Cardinals and Dave Giusti of the Pirates.  Marshall, in addition to his 17 first-place votes, also was named second on three ballots and third on two others.  Under the 5-3-1 point system, he received 96 points.

Messersmith had five firsts, 13 seconds and two thirds for 66 points.  Niekro in third place received one first-place vote, two seconds and four thirds for 15 points.

The victory was a particularly sweet one for Marshall, who finished second to Seaver last year in the voting after appearing in 92 games for the Montreal Expos, winning 14 and saving 31.

The claim was that Mike had burned himself out with his frequent appearances and 192 innings of pitching for the Expos.  But he came back this year to make even more appearances for the Dodgers.

The truculent reliever explained, "I don't go beyond the stress limitations of my tissues."

Marshall annoyed sportswriters from all over the country with his refusal to answer questions during the playoff and World Series.  Most times he remained in the showers.  When finally the commissioners' office requested he be more cooperative with the press, Marshall stood in front of his locker, but still refused to answer questions.

"I only answer questions that interest me," he replied.

Mike is currently attending Michigan State, studying for his master's degree.  He also teaches a course there in Kinesiology, which is the study of the anatomy in relation to human movement.

Marshall's disdain for the press did not prevent the BBWAA from awarding him an honor he deserved--as the outstanding pitcher in his league for 1974.


     After I picked Herb Washington off first base, the press attempted to get me to say something nasty about Herb and the Oakland A's owner.  When I asked them to ask me about something else, they refused, so I went to the showers.

     As for awarding me the Cy Young Award: The writers vote on the awards after the season ends and before the World Series begins.  So, for Mr. Lang to take credit for their objectivity makes no sense.

Happy Pitching Everybody

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