Michael Grant "Iron Mike" Marshall (January 15, 1943 – May 31, 2021) was an American professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball in 1967 and from 1969 through 1981 for nine different teams. Marshall, who relied primarily on an elusive screwball, led his league in games pitched four times, saves three times, and games finished five times.Mike Marshall:
- Marshall won the National League Cy Young Award in 1974 as a Los Angeles Dodger and was a two-time All-Star selection.
Mike MarshallHe was the first relief pitcher to receive the Cy Young Award
- Marshall was born in Adrian, Michigan
- He attended Adrian High School in his hometown before studying at Michigan State University.
- He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies on September 13, 1960.
- Marshall did not pitch professionally until 1965 in the minor leagues. Marshall was purchased by the Detroit Tigers in 1966. He made his Major League debut with the Tigers on May 31, 1967, pitching one inning against the Cleveland Indians. He pitched in 37 games for the Tigers that season, all in relief, recorded 10 saves and had a 1.98 earned-run average. But the Tigers sent him back to the minors for 1968
- He was drafted by the Seattle Pilots with the 53rd pick in the 1968 Major League Baseball expansion draft.
- The Pilots used Marshall mainly as a starter in his only season there, as he went 3–10 with a 5.14 ERA
- His contract was purchased by the Houston Astros after the season and then traded to the Montreal Expos on June 23, 1970. He began to flourish with Montreal, posting an impressive ERA in 1972 at 1.78.
- 1972 He was voted the Montreal Expos Player of the Year
- 1973 He led the National League in both saves and games pitched in 1973.
- He was voted the Montreal Expos Player of the Year again
- Marshall was traded from the Expos to the Dodgers
- 1974 He won the National League Cy Young Award in 1974 as a member of the Dodgers, as well as being named the NL Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News.
- He is the holder of two major league records, both of which he set in the 1974 season: most appearances (games pitched) in a season (appearing in 106 games), and most consecutive team games with a relief appearance.
- In his record-setting 1974 season, he pitched 208 1⁄3 innings, all of which came in relief appearances.
- 1975 He was a member of the National League All Star Team in 1974 and 1975.
- 1979 He holds the American League record for games pitched in a season with 90 for Minnesota in 1979.
Mike MarshallFireman of the Year
Marshall was also named Fireman of the Year by TSN with three different teams: in the NL in 1973 with the Montreal Expos, in 1974 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a third time in 1979 in the American League with the Minnesota Twins (sharing the award with Jim Kern).
Marshall earned his Doctor of Philosophy in exercise physiology from Michigan State University in 1978.
Marshall taught and advocated a pitching method he developed that he "believes could completely eradicate pitching-arm injuries." He wanted pitchers to externally rotate early as they swing their arm up. That means the pitcher will lift the hand before the elbow, so that the wrist faces away from the body and up, the hand is above the elbow when the front foot touches the ground, which leads to a smooth transition without a "forearm bounce", as Marshall called it. Marshall believed this causes ulnar collateral ligament injuries, which can necessitate ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, which is known as "Tommy John surgery". He wanted to first lay back the forearm and then accelerate by rotating the body instead of bending over, in order to protect the elbow against injury.