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Mac Fayden, Daniel K. (1971)

From Portland Press Herald 1971 Vern Putney

Mac Fayden, from Somerville MA, has been a distinguished Mainer more than half his life. "Deacon Danny" a curve ball artist who wound up a long big league career, has been Bowdoin baseball coach since 1946.

After graduating from Somerville High in 1924, he attended Hebron Academy (Hebron, Maine) to prepare himself for attending college. His mother wanted him to go to Dartmouth College. He played in the semi-pro Boston Twilight League in the summers of 1923 and 1924 for the Osterville team, then for Falmouth in 1925.

Mac Fayden was signed by Boston Red Sox owner Bob Quinn after he saw him pitching in the Twilight League. He decided to give up going to Dartmouth as a pro baseball career offered him financial security, which would enable him to help his mother.

He did not play in the minor leagues but went straight to the Red Sox, making his debut on August 25, 1926 against the Detroit Tigers as a reliever. He was the first pitcher in the American League to wear eyeglasses, which corrected for near-sightedness.

After one more relief stint, Mac Fayden made his first start against the legendary Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators on September 4, 1926. He lost 5–1, throwing a complete game. In 1928, he was the Boston Red Sox's Opening Day pitcher, making his season debut in Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C. with another native New Englander, President Calvin Coolidge in attendance. He won 7–5.

In his five years with the Red Sox, he was a relatively mediocre pitcher with an abysmal team, though he did lead the league with four shutouts in 1928, a year he went 10–18 with a 3.62 ERA. In 1932, after going 1–10 to start the season, he was traded to the New York Yankees for pitchers Ivy Andrews and Hank Johnson and $50,000 in cash. Both pitchers were on the disabled list at the time, but the trade seemed lopsided in favor of the Red Sox. The speculation was that Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert was trying to keep MacFayden away from contending teams.

Ruppert might have been thinking of Mac Fayden's stellar performance against the Yankees on May 24, 1929, the year he led the league in shutouts. In a game he started at Fenway Park, MacFayden shutout the famed "Murderer's Row", throwing a four-hitter. He did load the bases with no outs one inning, but then retired the heart of the order, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, and Tony Lazzeri, striking out both Gehrig and Lazzeri.

Mac Fayden continued to work as the Hebron Academy as hockey coach into the early 1940s. He also had worked in insurance in some off-seasons. He was appointed Maine's commissioner of amateur baseball in the summer of 1942, the first year he was out of pro baseball since being signed by the Red Sox. He became a teacher at Vermont Academy in October 1943 and became the varsity baseball coach at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine in 1946. He also occasionally coached hockey at Bowdoin, retiring as a coach in 1970.

Daniel Knowles MacFayden (1905-1972) was the first pitcher in the American League to wear eyeglasses, as he made his Major League debut for the Boston Red Sox against the Detroit Tigers. Danny played 17 seasons with six different clubs, primarily the Red Sox (1926-1932), Yankees (1932-1934) and Braves (1935-1939, 1943).

Mac Fayden, Daniel K. (71)

Mac Fayden, Daniel K. (71)

From NY Times Archives

BRUNSWICK, Me., Aug. 26 1972—Daniel K. MacFayden, who pitched for the New York Yankees in the 30's during 17‐year big‐league career and later coached Bowdoin College's varsity for 23 years, died in Brunswick Hospital today. He was 67 years old.

MacFayden, a right‐hander, compiled a lifetime record of 135 wins and 158 losses.

Al Lopez, who was his catcher for five years on the Boston Braves, then coached by Casey Stengel, once described Mac Fayden as “the greatest curve ball pitcher ever caught.” His teammates with the 1932‐34 Yankees included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and others of Murderers’ Row.

He began his career with the Boston Red Sox at the age of 21 and pitched for them six years. He was traded to the Yankees in 1932, went to the Braves in 1935, and, after six years there, joined the Pittsburgh Pirates and finally the ‘Washington Senators.

He went to Bowdoin in 1946. His teams there won 176 and lost 168 games, as well as winning, eight Maine collegiate championships.

Mac Fayden, Daniel K. (71) PPH 1971

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