Cal McLish

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Cal McLish
Born: (1925-12-01)December 1, 1925
Anadarko, Oklahoma
Died: August 26, 2010(2010-08-26) (aged 84)
Edmond, Oklahoma
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 13, 1944, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
July 14, 1964, for the Philadelphia Phillies
MLB statistics
Win–loss record92–92
Earned run average4.01
As player
As coach
Career highlights and awards

Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish (December 1, 1925 – August 26, 2010), nicknamed "Bus",[1] was an American professional baseball pitcher and coach, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1944, 1946), Pittsburgh Pirates (19471948), Chicago Cubs (1949, 1951), Cleveland Indians (19561959), Cincinnati Reds (1960), Chicago White Sox (1961), and Philadelphia Phillies (19621964). He was a switch-hitter and threw right-handed.

In a 15-season career, McLish posted a 92–92 win-loss record, with 713 strikeouts, and a 4.00 earned run average (ERA), in 1,609.0 innings pitched.


McLish was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma, on December 1, 1925.[2] McLish's parents were John and Lula McLish. His father was three-quarters Cherokee Indian.[3] He was the seventh of eight children. He was named for Calvin Coolidge, Julius Caesar, and Tuskahoma, Oklahoma.[4] He stated that the origin of his lengthy name is that his father was given permission to name the newborn, after not getting to name his previous six children, and he took full advantage of the opportunity.[4][5] He was raised in Oklahoma City (OKC), and went to its Central High School.[2]

Playing career[edit]

McLish signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers before the 1944 season.[6] He made his Major League Baseball debut with the Dodgers that year, the first time he played organized baseball.[2] He spent 1945 in the United States Army, and was deployed in the Western Front of World War II.[4] He returned to baseball in 1946, playing for the Dodgers.

On May 3, 1947, the Dodgers traded McLish, Hank Behrman, Kirby Higbe, Dixie Howell, and Gene Mauch to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Al Gionfriddo and $100,000 ($1,122,057 in current dollar terms).[7] In addition to pitching for Pittsburgh in 1948, he also pitched for the Indianapolis Indians of the Class AAA American Association (AA).[8] With McLish, the Indians won the AA pennant. After the 1948 season, the Pirates traded McLish and Frankie Gustine to the Chicago Cubs for Cliff Chambers and Clyde McCullough.[9] He played in the minor leagues for the Los Angeles Angels of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL) in 1949.[4]

McLish won 20 games for the Angels during the 1950 season. The Cubs sold McLish to the San Diego Padres, also in the PCL, in 1955. In 1956, McLish returned to MLB, pitching for the Cleveland Indians. He had a 16-8 win–loss record for Cleveland during the 1958 season, with a 2.99 earned run average (ERA).[4][10] In the 1958 and 1959 seasons, McLish set a major league record with 16 consecutive wins in road games. This was later surpassed by Greg Maddux.[2] In 1959, McLish had a 19-8 win–loss record with a 3.62 earned run average. He appeared in the 1959 MLB All-Star Game, earning the save for the American League.[2][4] Despite having a chance for his 20th win, Indians management asked McLish to forgo his final start of the season so that Herb Score could pitch, as he returned from injury.[11]

After the 1959 season, the Indians traded McLish with Gordy Coleman and Billy Martin to the Cincinnati Redlegs for Johnny Temple.[10] Disappointed by the trade, McLish said that Indians' general manager Frank Lane "never did like me".[12] McLish played for the Redlegs in 1960. After the season, they traded McLish and Juan Pizarro to the Chicago White Sox for Gene Freese.[13] Before the 1962 season, the White Sox sent McLish to the Philadelphia Phillies when Andy Carey, who they had traded to Philadelphia, refused to report. Carey instead went to the Dodgers, and McLish was sent to the Phillies.[14] In 1963, McLish had a 13-11 win-loss record in 211 innings pitched, the most on the team. He suffered from an injured shoulder the next season, and the Phillies released McLish in July 1964.[15]

McLish also pitched for the Leones del Caracas of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League, posting a 14-12 record with a 2.69 ERA and 147 strikeouts in parts of two seasons spanning 1953–1956. He also helped himself with the bat, hitting .358 (54-for-151) with three home runs and 14 runs batted in, being used occasionally as a pinch hitter.[1]

Coaching and scouting career[edit]

After his playing career, McLish became a major league pitching coach for the Phillies, under Mauch, the Phillies' manager. He coached for the Phillies in 1965 and 1966, and then spent the next two years scouting for the Phillies.[16] He then followed Mauch to the expansion Montreal Expos in 1969,[17] where he served as pitching coach and developed pitchers Bill Stoneman, Carl Morton, Steve Renko, and Ernie McAnally.[6] He was ill in 1973 with bronchial pneumonia, and team doctors sent him home to recuperate.[18]

The Expos fired Mauch and McLish after the 1975 season. He was soon thereafter hired to coach the Milwaukee Brewers.[16] He coached the Brewers from 1976 through 1982.[2] He then served as a scout for the Brewers. He worked in professional baseball through 2005, when he was an instructor for the Seattle Mariners.[11]

Personal life[edit]

McLish was inducted to the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.[19]

McLish and his wife, Ruth, were married for 60 years. He had a daughter, three sons, and thirteen grandchildren. McLish died of leukemia in Edmond, Oklahoma.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Cal McLish Stats". Pelota Binaria. 2019. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Oklahoma native, former Major League Baseball player Cal McLish dies at 84". News OK. August 26, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  3. ^ Dexter, Charles. "The Indians' Time Bomb." Baseball Digest. July 1959: 80.[dead link]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Thursby, Keith (August 30, 2010). "Cal McLish dies at 84; pitched in first All-Star game played in Los Angeles". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  5. ^ "The Ballplayers – Cal McLish". May 21, 1957. Archived from the original on December 23, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  6. ^ a b Blackman, Ted (March 29, 1972). "McLish's work bears fruit; 20 game winner(s) expected". Montreal Gazette. p. 15. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  7. ^ McGowen, Roscoe (May 4, 1947). "Higbe, Four Other Dodgers Go to Pirates in a Big Deal; Higbe of Dodgers Traded to Pirates". The New York Times. p. S1. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  8. ^ "Cal McLish Halts Sainds as Indians Even Series: Relieves Injured Jim Bagby and Allows St. Paul Only Four Hits to Earn 8 to 1 Victory". The Milwaukee Journal. September 16, 1948. p. 8. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  9. ^ "Cubs Land Gustine, Give Up McCullough". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 9, 1948. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "Cal McLish to Cincinnati: San Francisco Gives Up Spencer, Wagner for Infielder". The Milwaukee Journal. December 13, 1959. p. 15. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  11. ^ a b Tramel, Berry (July 31, 2009). "Berry Tramel: Cal McLish has lived a great baseball life". News OK. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "Martin Happy, Temple, McLish Sad Over Trade". The Milwaukee Sentinel. Associated Press. December 17, 1959. p. 9. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  13. ^ "Braves, White Sox and Reds Figure In Baseball Trades". Ottawa Citizen. Associated Press. December 16, 1960. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  14. ^ "Dodgers Get Andy Carey From Chisox: Cal McLish Goes to Phillies In Another Deal". The Pittsburgh Press. United Press International. March 25, 1962. p. 36. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  15. ^ "Senators Buy Roy Sievers". Gettysburg Times. Associated Press. July 16, 1964. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  16. ^ a b "McLish Picked, Too". The Milwaukee Journal. November 7, 1975. p. 17. Archived from the original on August 22, 2013. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  17. ^ "Expos sign three new coaches". Montreal Gazette. October 7, 1968. p. 26. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  18. ^ "Cal McLish Ill". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Associated Press. May 10, 1973. p. 22. Retrieved August 22, 2013.
  19. ^ "Oklahoma native, former Major League Baseball player Cal McLish dies at 84". News OK. August 26, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2013.

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Al Widmar
Philadelphia Phillies pitching coach
Succeeded by
Larry Shepard
Preceded by
Franchise created
Montreal Expos pitching coach
Succeeded by
Larry Bearnarth
Preceded by
Ken McBride
Milwaukee Brewers pitching coach
Succeeded by
Pat Dobson