All-Time Underrated Players

I told Mc about an idea I had for a new post and he suggested I do it, so here goes.  I had been thinking about underrated players of all time and 2 players came to mind right away; a pitcher and an outfielder.  I'm going with the pitcher first, see if you can guess who it is.

He came into the big leagues in 1960 and was a major part of the pitching rich 1960's and, by the way, he won more games than anyone in that decade.  If you didn't already know the answer, I would bet your first couple of guesses were wrong.  Why do I think that?  Even though he was a 6 time 20 game winner (3 times 25 or more) he didn't receive 1 Cy Young or even 1 vote for the award!  Know who it is yet?  Here are some clues.  He started 457 games in his career and completed 244 of them, more than half.  He led the league 2 times with one time completing 30 of 38 starts.  And by the way, he won 26 of them that year and didn't receive 1 vote for the CY.

Know who it is?  His 4th season in the bigs, he won 25 games and led the league with 321 innings pitched.  He is remembered for going 16 innings against Warren Spahn that year and winning 1-0 on a Mays home run.

He would win 20 or more in each of the next 3 seasons, going 25-6 with a 2.23 ERA the last season.  Once again not getting a single vote for CY.  He would throw 10 shutouts another season, go 26-9 another, and win an ERA title with 2.10 mark. 

By now any baseball junkie would know it's Juan Marichal.  Marichal had the misfortune of pitching the same time as Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson.  In 1963, '65, '66 and '68, they won the Cy with no else getting a single vote.

During talks of all-time great pitchers, Marichal's name doesn't come up enough in my opinion.  A high leg in the air in his wind up (you've seen it on MLB channel many times) he was a class act and great pitcher.

He is also known for slugging Dodger catcher John Roseboro over the head in '65 and sports writers held this against him, as did my father.  I remember in '68 my dad reading the sports page and telling me "Denny Mclain won his 25th last night, he might win 30". I responded, "Marichal is on pace to win 30 also".  My dad put the paper down and said "they think he's going to win 30 every year and he never does".  My dad meant it as a put down, but I thought this guy must be pretty good if they think that.

Well, that's my pick of most underrated pitcher of all-time.  What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. I wish that I could have seen those guys pitch on a daily basis... that's a great story about your pops.

    Those stats are ridiculous. Marichal didn't have the lengthy career but he was as good as anyone in his prime.

    Three guys that deserve more credit- Lefty Grove, Bob Feller and Warren Spahn (another high leg kick). Grove led the league in ERA nine times and strikeouts seven, Feller lost two prime years to war and Spahn was just unreal forever... he went 23-7 with a 2.60 ERA and 22 CG at age 42.


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