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Face of the Franchise:  1969



At Mr. Leam's suggestion, I will present a short series in parts showing what he calculates is the 'Face of the Franchise' for the Brewers. The way this works is we figure out how the team ranked in winning percentage that season and then find the player on the team with that rank in WAR, and explain why they are the appropriate Face of the Franchise.

1969 Seattle Pilots

Pitcher, Mike Marshall

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The Brewers Pilots finished 20th in win% in 1969, and the player with the 20th-highest WAR was Mike Marshall.

Marshall was signed by the Phillies at age 17 but didn't go to the minors right away. Instead he began a relationship that was equal to his contributions to baseball, one with education. He began his studies at Michigan State and enjoyed it thoroughly. What was at first a pursuit of an Education degree became a doctorate in kinesiology, and enduring his own back injuries and maintaining fitness spurred a desire to coach pitchers by changing their arm motions to reduce wear and tear.

He was drafted by the Pilots in the expansion draft in 1968, gained most of his WAR with the team by being a good-hitting pitcher, and in a regretful move was sold to the Houston Astros after the season. Five years later he would be the first relief pitcher to win a Cy Young award, pitching over 200 innings in relief in 106 games for the Dodgers that season.

Marshall relied mainly on his screwball, but Pilots pitching coach Sal Maglie wanted him to throw curveballs instead. Marshall tried to throw screwballs but the catchers would tattle to Maglie, and the backstops were upset that he was trying to call his own game.

1969 FotF: In a season filled with castoffs and outcasts who could be special if only given a chance, Marshall represents them perfectly. The King of the Screwballs: Overlooked but with a bright future, much like the franchise he played for.

You can also read about 1970's Face of the Franchise Fred Stanley here.

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