SI Vault
 
HIGHLIGHT
Peter Carry
June 16, 1969
Pilots Manager Joe Schultz, who coached in the National League before this season, said after the Orioles' Dave McNally stopped Seattle on four hits last week: "I had never seen much of him, but I'd always heard he was a great pitcher. Tonight he showed it. Our whole offense was a stolen base—and we didn't even get credit for it." If Schultz, whose team scored its only run on an error and a balk, felt frustrated, at least he knew he was not alone. The boyish-looking, red-haired lefthander's victory ran his record to 8-0, the best in the majors. Only two years ago it looked like McNally might be lucky to be the best pitcher on his block. A tendon injury in his left shoulder knocked his record from 13-6 in 1966 to 7-7 in 1967 and cut his innings pitched almost in half. Last season McNally began the year without a spot in the Baltimore rotation. "During spring training they'd list the four or five guys who would start and then say, 'And McNally might help if his arm gets better,' " remembers the 26-year-old Montanan. He did much more than help. Not only did his shoulder heal, but he rediscovered the slider, a pitch that strangely deserted him five years earlier. McNally, who came to the majors as a 19-year-old, proceeded to set six Orioles pitching records, finishing the season with 22 wins and a 1.95 ERA. Since last July he has won 20 of his 22 decisions, but he is still not happy. "I was better last year when my control was sharper. I've been erratic, and I wish I knew why. I guess I'll have to work on it," he says. With his nonlosing record Joe Schultz and the other managers will find it hard to believe that practice is going to make Dave McNally any more perfect.
Decrease font Decrease font
Enlarge font Enlarge font
June 16, 1969

Highlight

View CoverRead All Articles View This Issue

Pilots Manager Joe Schultz, who coached in the National League before this season, said after the Orioles' Dave McNally stopped Seattle on four hits last week: "I had never seen much of him, but I'd always heard he was a great pitcher. Tonight he showed it. Our whole offense was a stolen base—and we didn't even get credit for it." If Schultz, whose team scored its only run on an error and a balk, felt frustrated, at least he knew he was not alone. The boyish-looking, red-haired lefthander's victory ran his record to 8-0, the best in the majors. Only two years ago it looked like McNally might be lucky to be the best pitcher on his block. A tendon injury in his left shoulder knocked his record from 13-6 in 1966 to 7-7 in 1967 and cut his innings pitched almost in half. Last season McNally began the year without a spot in the Baltimore rotation. "During spring training they'd list the four or five guys who would start and then say, 'And McNally might help if his arm gets better,' " remembers the 26-year-old Montanan. He did much more than help. Not only did his shoulder heal, but he rediscovered the slider, a pitch that strangely deserted him five years earlier. McNally, who came to the majors as a 19-year-old, proceeded to set six Orioles pitching records, finishing the season with 22 wins and a 1.95 ERA. Since last July he has won 20 of his 22 decisions, but he is still not happy. "I was better last year when my control was sharper. I've been erratic, and I wish I knew why. I guess I'll have to work on it," he says. With his nonlosing record Joe Schultz and the other managers will find it hard to believe that practice is going to make Dave McNally any more perfect.

1