Mike Marshall's 1968 Topps card, #201 - B-Ref Bullpen
Before he became arguably the greatest workhorse reliever of all time, Marshall was a Seattle Pilot.
On this day in 1943 Mike Marshall was born in Adrian, Michigan. He was 17 when the Phillies signed him as an amateur free agent in 1960 and needed seven years to reach the majors, debuting as a Tiger in 1967.
Marshall was still with the Tigers in 1968 when the Seattle Pilots took him with the 53rd pick in the expansion draft. He pitched in 20 games for the Pilots in their debut season, posting a 5.13 ERA over 87.2 innings and generally showing no signs of the fascinating career that was to follow. After the season the Pilots sold him to the Astros.
Two years later as a 1971 Expo Marshall led all of baseball with 52 games finished and recorded 23 saves. He was still with Montreal in 1973 when he set a major league record by appearing in 92 games, finishing 73 of them. And he blew both of those records out of the water in 1974 when he made 106 appearances for the Dodgers, posting a 2.42 ERA and pitching 208.1 innings in relief. Marshall won the NL Cy Young that season and finished third in the league's MVP voting.
All told Marshall pitched in 723 games as a member of nine organizations over a 14-year major league career, finishing 549 of them. He had a career 3.14 ERA over 1386.2 innings, and at the time of his retirement his 188 saves were the fifth most in major league history.
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