My Day with Denny McLain
Last week was one that I will never forget in my eight years working in professional baseball. On Wednesday, June 4th, I had the opportunity to spend a day with 1968 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Denny McLain. That was a real treat for me. Being a huge baseball fan, and someone who loves the history of baseball, it was great to talk to him about his time in baseball.
McLain was a true professional. He met the media and then the fans and signed autographs for hours! Take a moment to check out my interview with Denny.
Here’s a look back at my press release:
(Uptown Charlotte, NC) – Former American League MVP and two-time Cy Young Award winner Denny McLain will meet fans and sign autographs at BB&T Ballpark on Wednesday, June 4th as the Charlotte Knights host the Rochester Red Wings in a doubleheader starting at 6:05 p.m.
McLain won 131 games over his 10-year Major League career, but is best known as being the last pitcher in Major League Baseball history to win 30 games in a season. The three-time American League All-Star won a career-best 31 games in 1968 as a member of the World Series winning Detroit Tigers. He won game six of the seven-game World Series, which went to the Tigers over the St. Louis Cardinals.
It was a special year for McClain in 1968 — and it turned out to be one of the finest pitching performances in Major League history. He compiled a marvelous 31-6 record with a minuscule 1.96 ERA in a league-high 41 games (all starts). He also led the league that season in complete games (28), and innings pitched (336.0). He was arguably the American League’s best pitcher from 1965-1969. He won back-to-back Cy Young Awards (1968-1969) and was a three-time AL All-Star over that span.
A native of Chicago, IL, McLain was originally signed by the Chicago White Sox as an amateur free agent in 1962, however he never played for the White Sox. McLain was selected off waivers by the Detroit Tigers on April 8, 1963 and made his Major League debut on September 21, 1963 as a 19-year-old. In his first Major League game, McLain tossed a complete game and also hit an opposite-field home run in the fifth inning to beat the White Sox 4-3.