|Dr. Mike Marshall's Pitching Coach Services|
November 23, 1974 Sporting News
The Sporting News
November 23, 1974
by Gordon Verrell
LOS ANGELES, CA:  The people who know baseball continue to be astounded by Mike Marshall's incredible 1974 season, in which he set four major league records, among them the most appearances by a pitcher--an amazing 106--and most innings by a relief pitcher--an even more amazing 208 1/3.
But the Dodgers' Iron Mike, who recently added the National League Cy Young Award to his crowded trophy case, is taking it all in stride.
Talking via telephone from his East Lansing, Mich., home, Marshall merely reminded the caller of an interview nearly a year ago.
"I said then that 100 games and 200 innings seemed about right. I think that by now, people realize I don't talk a lot of nonsense."
It wasn't nonsense, either, when he was asked to comment on his overwhelming selection as the Cy Young Award winner, the first time the Baseball Writers Association of America has named a relief pitcher for the award.
"I appreciate it, of course," he said.  "But from a personal standpoint, there are some things which mean more to me.
"Last year, Gene Mauch said I was the best relief pitcher he ever had seen.  This year, Walter Alston said I was in a class by myself.
"Now, these are two outstanding baseball men, people who know the game inside and out.
"Then the players (in the Sporting News poll) selected me the Pitcher of the Year.  These are my peers, people I play against, choosing me as the outstanding pitcher."
The Cy Young trophy culminated an impressive season for the 31-year-old Michigan State professor, a season that included two appearances in the National League playoff and five in the World Series--a heretofore unheard of 113 appearances in all!
But asked if 1974 was his most satisfying season, Marshall, without hesitation, replied, "No, it wasn't.  I'd say 1971 was my most satisfying season. That was the year I realized I was a major league player.  Until then, I didn't know.
"The next year, 1972, was an interesting season.  I had a 1.78 earned-run average at Montreal.  Then, in 1973, I finally got to pitch the way I envisioned pitching.  This year was a continuation of that."
Marshall took a week off from throwing, but now is throwing once a week.  Next month, he'll step it up to three times a week.
"I just love throwing a baseball," he said.  "Just because the season has ended doesn't mean I have to stop throwing."
As for 1975, Marshall said he's putting off until March his decision on whether he'll pitch again.
"By that I'm not saying, or even implying, that I don't intend to pitch again.  What I'm saying is that I'll simply weigh the various ingredients, my family, my academic pursuits, my feelings and baseball at that time.  Then I'll make my decision, not before."
He did the same thing last year.  He agreed to terms with the Dodgers in December, but actually didn't sign a contract until March.
He insists that his withholding of his plans is in no way an attempt to get into Walter O'Malley's vault.
"No, it's not a money wedge," he said.  "I'll get paid what I want or I won't play.  It's as simple as that."
Marshall's 1974 contract was for $87,500. But it's going to take more than $100,000 this time for Marshall to drop his kinesiology books at Michigan State and show up at Vero Beach, FL.
Last year, he didn't report for spring training until mid-March, a date agreed upon in his discussions with Vice-President Al Campanis.
"This time," he said, laughing, "I might not report so early."