Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services

1969 Toledo Blade

By Tom Loomis
Toledo Blade
June 11, 1969

You have to surmise that one day Mike Marshall will be a professor or perhaps a doctor of philosophy specializing in research.

Right now, though, he is getting an opportunity he has been seeking since 1965 when, in his fifth year as a professional baseball player, he was switched from shortstop to the pitcher’s mound.

Marshall, 26, is a starter in the pitching rotation of a major league team, the expansion Seattle Pilots.

“I like pitching,” Mike said.  “But it hasn’t been going so good.”

Intense, serious Marshall will take a 3-7 record and 4.71 earned-run average into his meeting tonight with Denny McLain and the Detroit Tiger team that considered him expendable.

“I’ve pitched several good ones,” he said, “but I haven’t won so many.”

Mike posted a 15-9 record with the Toledo Mud Hens last year, leading the International League in complete games (16) and innings pitched (211) after previously working mostly as a relief pitcher.

The Tigers didn’t protect him and the Pilots picked him up in the expansion draft.  He was one of several young pitchers plucked out the Detroit organization by other teams.

Uncharacteristically, Marshall declined to comment on whether he was happy that he was allowed to get away by the Tigers, for whom he pitched in 37 games in 1967 before being shipped back to the Mud Hens.

Well, what are his feelings about facing Cy Young Award winner McLain?

“It doesn’t make any difference who the other pitcher is,” he said.  “You face the batters…Some people try to be scapegoats and complain about lack of support…But your job is to get people out, not to worry about that.”

Yes, but if your team gets you 10 early runs, it isn’t a bad deal.

“Sure,” he agreed, “I’d like one of those nights. Everyone would like an easy one.”

Things haven’t been easy for Marshall with the Pilots. Not only hasn’t he been able to win regularly (although he leads the staff in complete games with three), but last month, he was mugged by a half-dozen young toughs in Cleveland.

Mike went across the street from the team’s hotel for a sandwich and was asked for a quarter by a young man.  He gave it to him, then was jumped by several others, who ripped his pants trying to get at his wallet, which was in a coat pocket.

He came out of it with his wallet and a black eye, plus the staisfaction of getting in several punches “that should have sent them to the hospital.”

Marshall, married and the father of three daughters, has his family in Seattle.

“They go wherever I go,” Mike said.  “I’ve always had it that way and I always will as long as I can.”

Mike has about a year of research left before he obtains his doctorate at Michigan State.  He admits it has been hard work studying during the fall and winter terms, and is glad actual classwork is over.

His special field is “growth and development” and it mirrors what he is trying to do in baseball.  He figures he grew and developed last year under Jack Tighe in Toledo.

“I think I perfected my pitches (he throws several variations of fastball, breaking pitch and screwball) last season,” he said.  “My arm feels fine.  I’m throwing the way I’m going to continue throwing now.  It’s just a matter of getting to know the hitters.

“It’s a fallacy that the catcher can know the hitters for you,” Mike said.  “He’s not pitching, you are.  I’ve always had more success once I’ve learned the hitters.”

Happy Pitching Everybody

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