Former Baltimore Orioles Pitcher Mike McCormick Passed Away
The Bonus Babies of the heyday of baseball are slowly exiting the stage, and another former Baltimore Orioles from that time passed away at the age of 81.
Although he only played two seasons for the Baltimore Orioles, Mike McCormick will be remembered for his prowess on the mound that led to an eventual Cy Young Award in 1967. He passed away on June 13 after struggles with Parkinson’s disease.
McCormick was best known for his time playing for the New York and San Francisco Giants. They signed him as a Bonus Baby in 1956 for $50,000, which moved him right into the MLB at the age of 17. In his 16 seasons in baseball, he played for the Giants for 11 of them. He also spent time pitching for the Senators, Royals, and Yankees.
According to an article from the Associated Press, McCormick was the youngest player to record 50 wins. He did when he was 22 years old when he was playing for the Giants in 1961. His record lasted until 1986 when Dwight Gooden broke it at the age of 21 in his third season with the Mets.
McCormick was a lefty who stood 6’2 and 195 pounds.
Giants CEO and President Larry Baer said of McCormick:
"“As a member of the inaugural San Francisco Giants team in 1958, Mike helped establish baseball on the West Coast and then went on to play a major role in the legendary Giants teams of the 1960s, becoming San Francisco’s first pitcher to win a Cy Young Award.”More from Orioles HistoryBaltimore Orioles: 2023 Hall of Fame BBWAA Ballot Features J.J. HardyBaltimore Orioles: Five Treats from the 2022 SeasonFormer Orioles Players on Playoff Teams this OctoberOn This Day: 2012 Ragtag Orioles Win Wild Card GameThe April Orioles Seem Like a Completely Different Team"
After the 1963 season, the Giants traded McCormick to Baltimore in a six-player deal. But, McCormick could not find his groove in the American League. He recorded a 4.40 ERA in his two seasons in Baltimore. He went 6-10 in 23 starts. The Orioles weren’t overly impressed and traded him to the Senators for a $20,000 and a minor leaguer named Stephen Herman.
McCormick had a sense of humor that was evident by the “Mr. 500” license plate he had on his car. In his 16 years, he hit seven home runs. One of them was the 500th hit by a pitcher in the MLB. That notable feat and one dubious one, gave him that moniker. On July 14, 1968, McCormick threw the pitch that ended up being Hank Aaron’s 500th home run. The three-run bomb went deep to center field in the bottom of the third at Atlanta Stadium.
McCormick did win a Cy Young Award in 1967. He was the first to do that for the Giants. He led the NL with 22 wins and had an ERA of 2.85. He also won an pitching title in 1960 with his 2.70 ERA. McCormick went to All-Star Games in 1960 and 1961 with the Giants.
We give our deepest condolences to Mike McCormick’s family and to the teammates and opponents who knew him.