Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 3, 1907: Stoney McGlynn's Iron Man Pitching Performance in Cincy

     On June 3, 1907, Cardinals starting pitcher Stoney McGlynn pitched two complete games during a doubleheader split against the Reds in Cincinnati. McGlynn won the first contest, which was a ten inning affair that was won when Pete Noonan came up with a late sacrifice. Noonan caught the game and he would catch the next one as well, as McGlynn took to the mound again and despite splitting a finger he went the distance during the second tilt. Unfortunately, the batterymates would not score their second victory of the day, as the Redlegs beat them 5-1, however, the iron man performance is noteworthy. The feat has not been accomplished since 1927, and it is safe to say we will not see it completed again.

     McGlynn was old warhorse of sorts. His baseball reference page has his days on the diamond as a professional beginning in 1904 at the age of 29.  He played in the minors for the first several years of his career, before getting a call by the Cardinals late in 1906. He had made quite the impression by being the guy who would take the ball during both games of a doubleheader beforehand, which would lead to his name being remembered on this fine day.

     The 1907 season was the the only full season he spent in the majors and it was a rough one for the Redbirds. They won just 52 games that season and Stoney went 14-25 over the course of the campaign. The 25 losses were the most in the National League. He also led the league with 39 games started, 33 complete games, 352.1 innings pitched, 329 hits given up, 114 earned runs, 112 bases on balls, 1,426 batters faced, and 12 errors committed.

     McGlynn returned to St. Louis in 1908 and pitched in 16 games. He would then return to the minor league ranks where he became a bit of a legend by pitching in 446 innings for the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association in 1909. He won an American Association record  27 games that season, struck out 183, and had 14 shutouts along the way. He prided himself on being able to complete iron man performance, and would often volunteer for the duty with the Brewers with an extra $20 as an incentive. He claimed that is key to success as an iron man came from standing under a hot shower after each game he pitched, gradually increasing the heat until it nearly scalded his arm. He called it the best attention he could give his whip.

     Stoney was a different breed of pitcher than the men we see trot out there today. Maybe even a different breed of man. He was truly something. After retiring from the game when he was in his mid-forties, McGlynn became a lifeguard at a beach in Mantiwoc, Wisconsin, a little more than an hour away from Milwaukee. At the age of 62, he rescued two young boys who had jumped on a raft, and sailed more than two miles, before Stoney could catch up to them. He must of been in some kind of shape to do such a thing. McGlynn passed away in 1941. He was 75 years of age at the time. While his time in Cardinal Nation was short he definitely made a mark during that 1907 season. He was survived by a wife and three children, as well as dozens upon dozens of stories from the diamond and more. He lived quite the life.

If you would like to read more about Iron Man pitching performances check out this piece by the Society of American Baseball Research:

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