Cy Young Winner Will Share Story
Whether it was making his major league baseball debut at age 17, or winning a Cy Young award as the league's most valuable pitcher, or being a part of major league history -- twice -- Mike McCormick has made a career of being in the right place at the right time.
McCormick, a native Californian and resident of CCNC for the past six years, will be the guest speaker for the Women of Weymouth's "Take Me Out to The Ballgame," event at 7 p.m. April 24.
Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children under age 12. Refreshments will be served after the talk. Tickets are limited and available from Women of Weymouth members.
McCormick said his talks typically center around his life experiences in baseball.
And from the time he was a 17-year-old phenom pitching for the New York Giants, to winning the Cy Young Award for the league's best pitcher, to playing with and against some of the greats of the game, including Hall of Famers Billy Williams, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Juan Marichal, McCormick has had a memorable and interesting life in baseball.
McCormick now spends much of his time playing golf, but remains an avid baseball fan.
One opening day of this year, McCormick was in San Francisco for pre-game ceremonies.
During his career McCormick is most remembered for being the 1967 Cy Young winner for the San Francisco Giants.
He was the only Giant to win the award until last year when Tim Lincecum won it.
That season McCormick won a career-high 22 games -- including 11 straight -- and had a 2.85 earned run average.
"I don't think it was the best year of my career," McCormick says.
In fact, it started out very pedestrian. McCormick had been traded back to the Giants before the 1967 season. He hurt his arm in the 1961 off-season and battled shoulder trouble all of 1962.
He was traded to Baltimore in 1963 and then to the Washington Senators in 1965.
Struggling to learn to pitch again, McCormick concentrated on control and learning a new pitch -- a screwball.
During that two-year stint with the "Nasty Nats," he carved out a niche and reclaimed his career.
"I was a left-handed, whatever-you-need-me-to do guy," he says.
His success prompted the Giants to reacquire him via trade.
In early June 1967, Giants manager Herman Franks tapped McCormick for a fill-in start for Bob Bolin.
McCormick who boasted an unimpressive 3-4 record pitched a complete game. He didn't win, but his effort earned him another start.
He went on to win 11 straight decisions on his way to the Cy Young Award.
"It happened so fast, I didn't even make the All-Star team that year," he says.
McCormick also is known for two milestone feats. He is credited with being the man who hit the 500th home run by a Major League pitcher. He also allowed Hank Aaron's 500th homer.
McCormick hit seven career homers. Aaron would go on to set the major league home run mark with 755 -- a mark recently broken by Barry Bonds.
To commemorate the feats, McCormick has a personalized license plate that reads, "Mr. 500."
Injuries plagued McCormick much of his career.
He finished with a career mark of 134-128 with a 3.73 career ERA in 16 seasons.
Arguably his best year came in 1960, when at age 22 he posted a 15-12 record with a career-low 2.70 ERA while walking 65 and striking out 154.
When asked if he had any regrets about his career, McCormick said he had just one.
"I would have loved to have been healthy my entire career. I survived, but I struggled."
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