Former Cy Young winner and MLB record holder Mike Marshall dies at 78

Mike Marshall, the 1974 National League Cy Young Award winner, died on Tuesday. He was 78.

The Los Angeles Dodgers first reported Marshall's death. He was residing in Florida and was in hospice care. The Dodgers had a moment of silence for Marshall before their game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Marshall pitched for nine teams across 15 seasons in his MLB career. He was one of the most reliable relievers in the 1970s and won the Cy Young Award for the Dodgers in a season that may never be duplicated.

PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 23:  Mike Marshall #28 of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the National League All-Stars pitches against the American League All-Stars during Major League Baseball All-Star game July 23, 1974 at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The National League won the game 7-2. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Mike Marshall pitched in an MLB-record 106 games on his way to the NL Cy Young Award in 1974. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

Marshall holds MLB record for appearances

The right-hander threw 208.1 innings in 1974. That’s a workhorse starter’s innings total in 2021. But Marshall threw those innings as a reliever. He made an MLB-record 106 appearances with a 2.42 ERA and struck out 143 batters. That record for appearances still stands and no other pitcher has ever appeared in more than 94 games in a single season.

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Marshall had 21 saves to lead the National League and was the Dodgers’ final pitcher in 83 of his 106 appearances. The team had acquired him in a trade after the 1973 season for outfielder Willie Davis.

That Cy Young season was the third consecutive year Marshall had led baseball in games pitched and the fourth consecutive season he had led baseball in games finished. He threw over 100 innings in five straight seasons from 1971-75 and barely missed making it six straight when he threw 99.1 innings for the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves in 1976. Marshall's durability gave him the nickname "Iron Mike" and he baffled MLB hitters with a screwball.

Dodgers pitcher Andy Messersmith finished second in the Cy Young voting to Marshall and their teammate Don Sutton was fourth. Each of the three threw over 200 innings.

Career 3.14 ERA

Marshall finished third in the MVP voting in 1974 behind teammate Steve Garvey and the Cardinals’ Lou Brock. The Dodgers won the NL West that season and lost the World Series to the Oakland A’s. Marshall was a two-time All-Star in 1974 and 1975 and finished in the top seven of the Cy Young voting in four other seasons.


Marshall’s final season came in 1981 with the New York Mets. He called it quits after throwing 31 innings that season and finished his career with a 3.14 ERA and 880 strikeouts in 1,386.2 innings. Marshall also pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos, Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins in his career.

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