Today’s “Then and Now Super Veteran” is a special request for reader Tony, who asked me to create one for the former fire-baller a while back.
Well, here you go Tony!
Take a look:
Maloney tends to get over-looked as far as pitching stars of the 1960’s go.
Granted when you’re up against guys like Koufax, Marichal, Drysdale and Gibson, it’s easy to see why.
Nevertheless, in Maloney’s seven full seasons of Major League ball, he
posted five seasons of sub-3.00 ERA, four 200+ strikeout years, and six
15+ win seasons, with two of them topping 20.
The guy was a machine! 29 of his 30 lifetime shutouts were in those seven years, with four seasons of five or more.
And consider this: until Major League officials changed the rules of
what a no-hitter was years later, Maloney was considered as one of the
few to throw THREE or more such gems.
In 1965 Maloney not only threw a 10-inning no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs on August 19th, in which he became the first pitcher to go more than nine-innings and complete a no-hitter, he also, earlier in the season on June 14th
against the New York Mets, LOST a no-hitter in the 10th inning when
Mets player Johnny Lewis led off the 11th with a homer, thus handing
Maloney a loss after going ten innings with a no-no.
Then, as if all of that wasn’t enough, Maloney went and threw a
no-hitter on April 30th of 1969 against the Houston Astros, this time
mercifully given a huge lead, eventually winning the game 10-0.
So while credited with two “official” no-hitters for his career, he came ever so close to three.
1963 can arguably be considered his best year on a big league mound,
when he posted a 23-7 record with a 2.77 ERA and 265 K’s to go along
with six shutouts over 33 starts and 250.1 innings pitched.
Sadly for him there was a guy named Koufax dominating the world of
baseball that year, easily taking home not only a Cy Young Award but an
MVP Award as well.
By the time Maloney wrapped up his career after the 1971 season because
of injuries at the young age of 31, he finished with a very nice 134-84
record, with a 3.19 ERA and 1605 strikeouts over 302 games and 1849
innings pitched, and a reputation as one of the hardest throwing
pitchers in the game during the 1960’s.