Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pat McGlothin, Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who once pitched a 19 inning game, dies at 94

Ezra Malachi “Pat” McGlothin, who pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1949-50, passed away on Friday October 24, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee, just a few days after his 94th birthday. McGlothin, a lifelong resident of Tennessee, was also a World War II veteran and a University of Tennessee alumnus.

During his two brief stints with Brooklyn, he made eight relief appearances over the course of two seasons, a position that was unfamiliar to him before he hit the big leagues.

"The Dodgers wanted to use me as a relief pitcher,” McGlothin said during a 2008 phone interview, “but that wasn't my forte. I didn't have that kind of arm to make the adjustment. I had a pretty good arm and I could throw every fifth day, but I couldn't relieve."

While much acclaim has gone to Tim Hudson of the San Francisco Giants for his involvement in two separate 18-inning playoff games, McGlothin had a herculean feat of his own that will be difficult for any modern era pitcher to match. On September 24, 1944, he pitched for the Corpus Christi NATB team, taking on the Pensacola NATB All-Stars led by Ted Williams. In a back and forth contest, Williams’ club knotted the score at four in the ninth inning, and the score stayed that way until the 17th inning when both clubs scored a run. Despite throwing over 200 pitches, McGlothin refused to come out. He forged his way through 19 innings, knocking in three runs, including the game winner in the bottom of the 19th. As for the legendary Williams, he had no answer for McGlothin, going hitless in seven trips to the plate. McGlothin took the legendary accomplishment in stride.

“I just stayed in there that's all and won the game,” he said.

After wrapping up his baseball playing days in 1954 as a player-manager for the Knoxville Smokies, he made a career change to selling insurance that would last him the next 60 years. McGlothin worked for the Mutual Insurance Agency, eventually buying the company. He remained their CEO until the time of his death, spending a few hours each day at the office with the help of a ride from an employee when he could no longer drive.

McGlothin played alongside all of the famed "Boys of Summer," including Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella, and Duke Snider. While he isn't as revered as some of his Hall of Fame teammates, he humbly acknowledged his position in the game.

"I didn't necessarily think I was part of history, I just played hoping I would stay," he said in a 2011 interview with television station WBIR.

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