He began his career as a 28 year old rookie with the National League’s Baltimore Orioles in 1899, and for the next 10 seasons he was among the elite pitchers in the game. His 28 wins in that first year led the NL and was the first of his 8 consecutive years with 20+ victories (twice winning over 30). In his 2nd season he pitched for Brooklyn and again won 28 games, and after returning to the Orioles in 1901 he won another 26. He finally joined the New York Giants midway through the 1902 season and for the next 7 seasons he teamed with Christy Mathewson as one of the greatest pitching duos in history. He was nicknamed “Iron Man”, and with an underhanded curveball that he called “Old Sal” among his arsenal of pitches he led the league in innings pitched 4 times, while throwing over 300 innings in 9 of his 10 big league seasons. He routinely pitched both ends of doubleheaders, and in 1903 it did it 3 times in a single month. In that same year, while completing 44 games, he set an NL record that will undoubtedly stand forever by tossing 434 innings. During his short career he totaled some astounding numbers; 3441 innings pitched, 314 complete games, 32 shutouts, 2.66 ERA, and .634 winning pct. with a 246-142 record. He led the NL in wins 5 times, and in games pitched 6 times. He was a member of National League pennant winners in 1900, 1904 and 1905.
He was elected to Cooperstown via the Old Timer’s Committee in 1946.
After his big league days were over Joe McGinnity won another 231 games in the minor leagues for a combined total of nearly 500 wins. He finally retired at the age of 54.
May 31, 2016