The San Francisco Giants
' answer to Sandy Koufax
player Juan Marichal (1937
- ) was one of the most dominant pitchers of the 1960s
. Known for his almost impossibly high leg kick and his dizzying array of arm-angles and junk balls, "The Dominican Dandy" baffled hitters for sixteen seasons, compiling a brilliant career record of 243 wins and only 142 losses, to go along with a 2.89 ERA
and six seasons with 20 wins or more. In the ten seasons from 1962
, Marichal went to the All-Star
Game nine times.
Marichal was involved in one of the most famous incidents in the long, storied, and always heated rivalry between the Giants and the Dodgers. On August 22, 1965, Marichal was at bat against the Dodgers in a game at Candlestick Park when Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, angry that Marichal had brushed back several Dodgers batters earlier in the game, winged the ball back to the pitcher so close to Marichal's head that it grazed his ear. Marichal suddenly became so enraged, he whacked Roseboro over the head with his bat, leaving a huge gash on the Dodger catcher's forehead and initiating a bench clearing brawl forever remembered as "The Battle of Candlestick."
The story has a happy ending though. Years later in 1982, after Marichal had been twice passed over for election into the Hall of Fame, he wondered if the voters might be snubbing him because of his vicious attack of almost twenty years before. Having long regretted the incident, Marichal decided to call Roseboro to ask if Roseboro could ever forgive him. Roseboro, as gentle a soul as ever played the game, glady forgave Marichal and even flew down to the Dominican Republic to participate in Marichal's annual charity golf event. Sure enough, the next year Marichal was elected to the Hall with a sizeable 84% of the vote.
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