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  • Writer's pictureMaine Baseball HOF

McHale, Marty (1971)

A player for the University of Maine who appeared in a Red Sox outfit. PPH 1971

Martin Joseph McHale (October 30, 1886 – May 7, 1979) was an American professional baseball pitcher who played for six seasons for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Cleveland Indians in Major League Baseball


McHale was born in Stoneham, Massachusetts and played college baseball for the Maine Black Bears from 1908–1910.[1] Professionally, he won 12 games in his Major League career, and played with some of the early stars of baseball including Smoky Joe Wood, Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth. He was also dubbed the "Caruso of Baseball" by Variety and performed professionally in vaudeville with another baseball man, Mike Donlin.

After retiring from baseball, McHale became a successful stock broker and opened his own firm, which he ran for 52 years.

From The Society for American Baseball Research

McHale told Ritter of his first pitching assignment, on September 28, 1910, against the Cleveland Naps. A brash person, Marty felt he could beat anyone. McHale seemed to back up his claim in his first game, but his ego got the better of him. The first time McHale faced Joe Jackson, who was just beginning to show his greatness, Marty struck him out by sneaking a fastball right down the middle on a 0-2 count. The next time, Marty had Jackson buried again in a 0-2 count. Red Sox catcher Red Kleinow came out to McHale and said, "'Well, what do you want to pitch him, a curveball?'" McHale said, "'No, I'm going to stick another fast one right through there.'" Kleinow said, "'He'll murder it.'"

And that's exactly what Jackson did, hitting it like a rifle shot and slamming it so hard against the right field wall that it bounced all the way to left-centerfield. The next guy got a hit and Jackson scored. McHale went on to relate to Ritter how he lost the game on a ball that Duffy Lewis lost in the sun. Eddie Hohnhorst, who hit the long fly lost in the sun, wound up on second and scored the winning run for Cleveland on a hit by Ted Easterly. McHale lost the game even though he had struck out ten.

McHale bounced up and down from the majors and the minor leagues. He was sent down to Brockton in the New England League in 1910, where he won 11 and lost 12. In 1911, he was back in the majors with the Red Sox. However, later in the season he was sent to Jersey City (International League), where he went 10 and 9. Called back up by the Yanks in that season again he won 2 and lost 4 with an earned run average of 2.96. In 1914, after being traded to the Yankees, he won the opening game on April 14, defeating Philadelphia and Joe Bush, 8-2. McHale won 6 and lost 16 for a poor Yankee team that year, with a respectable 2.97 earned run average.

From Our Game

"Damon Runyon once wrote a story about me, saying this fellow McHale, who is not the greatest ballplayer that ever lived, is probably the most versatile man who ever took up the game. This was in the 1920s, after I had left baseball. So Johnny Kieran of the New York Times asked Babe Ruth about it, knowing he and I had been on the Red Sox together. Johnny said, “Marty played in the big leagues, he played football in college, he was on the track team, he was on the stage, he wrote for the Wheeler Syndicate and the Sun, he was in the Air Service” — and so forth. He went on listing my accomplishments until the Babe interrupted to say, “Well, I don’t know about all those things, but he was the best goddamn singer I ever heard!”

"'When you’re on third base alone, you’re still a long, long way from

home.’ It was serious, about life being like a game of baseball. Times

have changed – a boy can’t peak through a knothole in a concrete

fence – but that’s still true.’"

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