Second Time’s a Charm

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Mike McCormick

As outstanding as he could be, Mike McCormick never quite lived up to the promise of his youth, when he was signed by the New York Giants as a “bonus baby” in 1956 and led the National League in ERA by age 21. But when it seemed that his career was ready to fade into the sunset, he made a remarkable comeback during his second tour with the Giants … a comeback that made him the first National League Cy Young Award winner. Continue reading

Phillies Fire Fighter

 

Oh, What a Relief: Jack Baldschun

As baseball entered the 1960s, the National League’s worst team (pre-expansion) was indisputably the Philadelphia Phillies. The National League champs in 1950, the Phillies had fallen to the bottom of the standings by 1958 and stayed there through 1961, spared in 1962 only by the arrival of the New York Mets and the Houston Colt .45s, as well as the decline of the Chicago Cubs. Continue reading

Battling Buz’

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering John Buzhardt

Right-handed pitcher John Buzhardt was a human book-end for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961. Pitching for the National League’s worst team (one season before the arrival of the expansion New York Mets), Buzhardt tossed a complete game 3-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants on July 28, 1961. It would be the last game the Phillies would win in nearly a month, as the team reeled off a major league record 23 consecutive losses. The pitcher who finally snapped that streak was Buzhardt, who beat the Milwaukee Braves 7-4 on August 20. Continue reading

Jack of All Bases

 

Glancing Back, and Remembering Jackie Brandt

Jackie Brandt was a multi-talented outfielder who played for five different teams during his 11-year major league career. His best seasons came with the Baltimore Orioles, where he was an All-Star in 1961. Continue reading