LOS ANGELES (CNS) — Former Dodgers relief pitcher Mike Marshall — who capped a remarkably durable 1974 season by becoming the first reliever in baseball history to win the Cy Young Award — has died at age 78, the team said.
Marshall died Tuesday morning, June 1, at his Florida home. No cause was given, but he had been under hospice care, according to the Dodgers’ website.
The right-hander came to the Dodgers in an offseason trade from the Montreal Expos before the 1974 season — and then set major-league records for most pitching appearances in a season (106), most relief innings (208 1/3), most games finished by a pitcher (83) and most consecutive games pitched (13).
He finished that memorable season with a 15-12 won-lost record, a 2.42 earned-run average and 21 saves.
In addition to winning the Cy Young Award — pitching’s highest honor — Marshall finished third in the National League’s Most Valuable Player voting. Dodger teammate Steve Garvey won the award, and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Lou Brock was second.
Marshall also appeared in all five games of the World Series in 1974, but the Dodgers lost the series to the Oakland A’s.
Memorably, Marshall picked off Oakland speedster Herb Washington, who was signed by the A’s as a so-called “designated runner.”
Marshall had been an associate professor of kinesiology — the study of the mechanics of body movements — at Michigan State, and he attributed his rubber-armed achievements to his expertise in that field.
“I actually had him as a professor,” Garvey told Dodgers Insider in 2014. “Very cerebral. Always studied the dynamics of pitching relative to motion. What a workhorse he was.”
Marshall remained with the Dodgers until June 23, 1976, when he was traded to the Atlanta Braves for utility player Lee Lacy and pitcher Elias Sosa.
In two-plus seasons with the Dodgers, Marshall recorded a 28-29 record with 42 saves and a 3.01 ERA.
He ended his 14-year big-league career after the 1981 season with a 97-112 record, a 3.14 career ERA and 188 saves.