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Denny McLain 31-6 1968 Detroit Tigers OML Autographed Signed Baseball COA


Great looking single signed baseball by former 31 Game Winner...Denny McLain.

Denny began his career in 1963 with the Detroit Tigers. He played with the Tigers 1963-70, Washington Senators 1971, Oakland Athletics 1972 and Atlanta Braves 1972. During his career, Denny was named to three AL All-Star teams (1966, 1968, ‘69), won the AL MVP Award in 1968 when he finished with an incredible 31-6 won/loss record and a .838 winning percentage, won two Cy Young Awards (1968, 1969) and was a member of the 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers. Denny signed the sweet spot of this OML Allan H. Selig baseball on Sunday May 1, 2011 with a blue ballpoint pen and he also inscribed underneath his name, "31-6, 1968", to note his accomplishment.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

Dennis Dale "Denny" McLain (born March 29, 1944, in Chicago, Illinois) is a former American professional baseball player. He is the last major league pitcher to win 30 or more games during a season.

Professional playing career

McLain attended Mt. Carmel High School in Chicago, and played shortstop and pitcher. Originally signed by the Chicago White Sox, he was selected off waivers by the Detroit Tigers, with whom he broke into the major leagues in 1963. His first good season came in 1965, when he posted a 2.61 ERA and a 16-6 record. He would remain one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball until 1969.

His 1968 season was a remarkable one, as he went 31-6, was an All-Star, won the Cy Young Award, won the AL Most Valuable Player Award, and was on the World Series-winning Detroit Tigers. His 31 wins that year made him the first pitcher to win 30 games in a season since Dizzy Dean. (McLain might have won 33 games that year had it not been for two 2-1 losses late in the season.) After the Tigers had clinched the '68 AL pennant, McLain exhibited a rare display of magnanimity in a game against the New York Yankees; in cruising to his 31st victory, with the Tigers leading 6-1, McLain intentionally gave up a 'fat' pitch to Mickey Mantle, allowing the soon-to-retire Mantle to hit his 535th homer and pass Jimmie Foxx on the all-time home run list.

McLain's 1968 World Series performance was not as stellar, however, as he lost Games 1 and 4 to Bob Gibson of the St. Louis Cardinals, who posted a 1.12 ERA during the '68 season to win the National League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards. Trailing 3 games to 2, McLain won the crucial Game 6 on just two days' rest, aided by a grand slam from Jim Northrup. Teammate Mickey Lolich went 3-0 in the series, including a complete game triumph in Game 7 against Gibson, and won the World Series MVP award.

McLain was a three-time All-Star and won the Cy Young Award twice in his career, in 1968 and 1969; in the latter year, he shared the award with Mike Cuellar. His lifetime record includes a won-loss tally of 131-91, an ERA of 3.39, and 1282 strikeouts in 1886 innings pitched.

Downfall of McLain's MLB career

In addition to arm trouble, allegations of bookmaking and associations with gamblers and underworld criminals shortened Denny McLain's career. Early in his career, McLain’s interest in betting on horses was piqued by Chuck Dressen, one of his first managers. McLain’s descent into his gambling obsession was further precipitated by an offhand remark made during an interview—that he drank about a case of Pepsi a day. (When he pitched, he was known to down a Pepsi between innings.) A representative from Pepsi then offered McLain a contract with the company, just for doing a few endorsements. McLain soon realized that he and the Pepsi rep shared an affinity for gambling; when the two realized how much money they were losing, and that they could earn so much more by ‘taking the action’ on bets, they attempted to set up a bookmaking operation as hands-off, silent partners.

After Sports Illustrated broke a story about McLain's nefarious activities, he was suspended by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn for the first three months of the 1970 season. McLain was suspended later in the season by the Detroit club for dousing two sportswriters with buckets of water. And just when he was about to come back from that, he received another suspension from Kuhn (for at least the rest of the season) for carrying a gun on a team flight.

Also, Sports Illustrated reported that a foot injury suffered by McLain late in 1967 had been caused by an organized crime figure stomping on it for McLain's failure to pay off on a bet. (McLain missed six starts because of this injury, coming back to pitch and lose the Tigers' final game of the season against the California Angels, which cost his team the 1967 pennant.) McLain’s ‘official’ story of what caused the injury kept changing—often a sign of prevarication or duplicity: he once claimed that he had kicked his locker after a particularly disappointing start, another time that he had fallen asleep watching television and then wrenched his toes against some furniture when he woke up in the dark, and another time that he had kicked some garbage cans being ‘terrorized’ by squirrels.

McLain's 1970 season ended with a won-lost record of only 3-5. He was reinstated after season's end, and he was traded to the Washington Senators. In his attempted comeback with the Senators in 1971, McLain went 10-22. He thus earned the dubious distinction of being the only player to go from leading his league in wins (24, in 1969) to two years later leading his league in losses.

McLain last played in the majors in 1972 at age 28, after briefly pitching for the Oakland A's and Atlanta Braves, going 4-7 with a 6.37 ERA. The Braves, who had acquired McLain from Oakland in a trade for future Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, released McLain on March 26, 1973.

Post-professional 'career'

In 1973, McLain again tried to make a comeback, pitching in the minor leagues with Des Moines and Shreveport. The following year, he played a season for the London Majors of the Intercounty Baseball League at Labatt Memorial Park in London, Ontario, Canada. Given his arm problems, McLain only pitched nine innings for the Majors, but he did play in 14 games at either shortstop, first base, or catcher, and batted .380, including hitting two homers in one game in London.

McLain continued to earn side money at clubs playing the organ, which his father taught him to play. McLain also earned quite a bit of money hustling golf, easily attracting 'marks' due to his past baseball fame. Additionally, he reportedly once accepted over $100,000 to fly a wanted felon out of the country.

In his post-baseball career, his weight ballooned to 300 pounds. He was imprisoned for drug trafficking, embezzlement, and racketeering with Anthony Spilotro and later John Gotti Jr.. Attorney Lawrence R. Greene represented McLain before the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta, where his RICO conviction obtained in the United States District Court for the Central District of Florida at Tampa was reversed. Between his stints in prison and rehabilitation in the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, McLain could be found on various sports shows on talk radio and occasionally on panel-format sports shows on network television in the Detroit area. He could also be found signing autographs at a metro Detroit 7-Eleven store at the corner of Mound Road and Metro Parkway in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where he was employed on work-release.[1] During the Detroit Tigers 2006 playoff run, McLain was the baseball analyst for Drew and Mike on WRIF radio in Detroit.

In the early 90s, McLain purchased the Peet Packing Company (Farmer Peet's) located in the small town of Chesaning, MI. He was convicted on charges of embezzlement, mail fraud, and conspiracy in connection with the theft of $2.5 million from the Peet employees' pension fund. McLain spent six years in prison. The employees did not receive any compensation.

In 2007, McLain released his autobiography "I Told You I Wasn't Perfect", co-authored by longtime Detroit sportscaster and author Eli Zaret.

McLain currently resides in Pinckney, Michigan, with his wife, Sharon, the daughter of Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau.[2]


Kevin Costner's character in the motion picture The Upside of Anger was partly based on McLain (and also partly on Kirk Gibson, another Tiger of World Series note).
•Gave up pitcher John O'Donoghue's third and last major league home run {Tiger Stadium -- June 1, 1967}
•Held All-Stars Tommie Agee, Bert Campaneris, Rocky Colavito, Tommy Davis, Jimmie Hall, Ken Harrelson, and Vada Pinson to a .116 collective batting average (30-for-258)
•Held Hall of Famers Al Kaline, Harmon Killebrew, Mickey Mantle, Brooks Robinson, and Frank Robinson to a .223 collective batting average (59-for-265)
•Was a pop performer on the organ before, during, and after his baseball career.

Lifetime guarantee in regards to this autographed baseball which also comes with a COA from Gearhart Enterprises, Inc. Member of the UACC. UACC Registered Dealer #RD189.