The most popular post on this blog has been the one covering the fracas between Marichal and John Roseboro. Rather than let that one event dominate the image of Marichal, I thought I’d do a second post on some of Marichal’s greatness as a pitcher. The S.F. Chronicle wrote that upon joining the Hall of Fame, the Chronicle’s Bob Stevens “said the highlight of his career might have been covering the historic 16-inning pitching duel between Juan Marichal and the Braves’ Warren Spahn, a game eventually decided by a home run off the bat of Willie Mays, Stevens’ choice as the greatest player of all time.
“There were seven future Hall of Famers in that game,” Stevens said. “Mays, Marichal, McCovey, Spahn, Henry Aaron and Eddie Mathews were playing. Gaylord Perry was in the Giants’ dugout, wetting his fingers.”
In another article, Marichal said: “I can still remember (Giants manager) Alvin Dark asking me after the ninth if I wanted to come out. And I told him, ‘I’m 25, that old man is 42. If he’s going back out there, I’m going back out there.’ ”
The Chronicle noted that “as a two- man duel, this one is probably second only to Koufax’s 1965 perfect game. The Cubs’ Bob Hendley lost that game 1-0, allowing one hit and an unearned run. Speaking on FOX Sports Net Bay Area’s recent ‘Stick special, McCovey summed it up this way: “It’s probably the best game ever at Candlestick Park. It’s the best game I’ve ever been in.”
In a third article on great games in the history of Candlestick Park, the Chronicle wrote that in his 1960 big-league debut, “unveiling the high leg-kick that would become his trademark, Marichal dominated the Phils. With his screwball already a devastating pitch, he retired the first 19 batters until Giants shortstop Eddie Bressoud misplayed a grounder with one out in the seventh, ending any thought of a perfect game. . .
“Pinch-hitter Clay Dalrymple, whose career batting average would wind up .233, singled cleanly with two out in the eighth. Marichal finished with a one-hit shutout, striking out 12 — at least one in every inning but the fourth — and walking none.”
For his career, Marichal had 52 shutouts, 244 complete games in 448 starts, one no-hitter, 15 games pitching more than 9 innings, and two ejections, the Roseboro one in 1965, and one in 1971. And that 1-0 16-inning complete game win over Spahn in 1963.