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By The Numbers: Juan Marichal – The Dominican Dandy

Juan Marichal is honored during a pregame ceremony honoring former Giants All-Stars and current Hall of Famers before the game against the San Diego Padres on the Opening Day of Major League Baseball on April 4, 2007 at AT&T Park in San Francisco.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Juan Marichal is honored during a pregame ceremony honoring former Giants All-Stars and current Hall of Famers before the game against the San Diego Padres on the Opening Day of Major League Baseball on April 4, 2007 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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By Father Gabe Costa
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In our last blog we discussed Jimmie Foxx, the player who arguably ranks second only to Babe Ruth in the category of sheer power. For whatever reasons, however, Double X seems to have been forgotten, and one rarely hears about this gifted Hall of Famer.

Continuing along this line, one can pretty much say the same thing the about a tremendous pitcher of the 1960’s and 1970’s, Juan Marichal, also known as the Dominican Dandy. Sadly, we don’t hear much about him, either.

Marichal came up in 1960 at the age of 22. He developed a high leg kick and thrilled baseball fans for a decade and a half. He spent most of his career with the San Francisco Giants, playing with such immortals as Willie Mays, Orlando Cepeda and Willie McCovey. It was his misfortune, however, to pitch in the same era as Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale and Bob Gibson.

Nevertheless, Marichal put up great numbers and was deservedly enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1983.

Take a look at these statistics:

Wins (W)

243

Losses (L)

142

Winning Percentage (PCT)

.631

Earned Run Average (ERA)

2.89

Innings Pitched (IP)

3507

Complete Games (CG)

244

Shutouts (SHO)

52

Strikeouts (K)

2303

Bases on Balls (BB)

709

K/BB Ratio

3.25

Walks-Plus-Hits-Per-Inning (WHIP)

1.101

In addition to being elected into the Hall of Fame, Juan Marichal was selected for nearly a dozen National League All-Star teams, winning the Most Valuable Player award for the 1965 Mid-Summer Classic. Among all the pitchers in history, he ranks 37th in career Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 64, nearly ten more than Sandy Koufax.

Unfortunately, Marichal never won a Cy Young award. This was due to the intense competition referenced above. The Dandy Dominican himself once said:

“In 1968, I won 26 games and completed 30 games, but I couldn’t get one vote for the Cy Young, because Gibson had a 1.12 ERA. So, you know how big the rivalry was back then. “

And yet, for his career, when compared to Koufax, Marichal had more shutouts and complete games along with a higher K/BB ratio and a lower WHIP. He bested Gibson in both PCT and ERA, as well as K/BB and WHIP. And when we look at Marichal’s record versus Don Drysdale, the Giant’s ace outpitched the big Dodger righthander in virtually every category.

By all measures, Marichal was a dandy!