The 40 Greatest Orioles of All-Time - No. 8 - Dave McNally

8. Dave McNally, LHP (1962-1974)

All-Star: 1969, 1970, 1972

The best left-handed pitcher in Orioles history. He and Cuellar are pretty similar overall (No. 1 on each others' similarity score, in fact), but McNally spent a couple more seasons with the club. Like Cuellar, he had one truly great season and a bunch of others that were good, and tailed off pretty quickly.

McNally was born in Billings, Montana, on Halloween in 1942. He signed with the Orioles in 1960, and made his major league debut on September 26, 1962, about a month before he turned 20 years old. It was a good one. McNally pitched one game, a late season start, and threw a two-hit shutout. In 1963, McNally went 7-8 with a 4.58 ERA over 125 2/3 innings, and in '64, he was 9-11 with a 3.67 ERA in 159 1/3.

In 1965, at age 22, he started to get it together. McNally pitched 198 2/3 innings that season, going 11-6 with a 2.85 ERA (121 ERA+). The next year, he won 13 games with a 3.17 ERA, and won the clinching game of the 1966 World Series sweep of the Dodgers, outdueling Don Drysdale, who gave up a homer to Frank Robinson for the only score of the game. The Orioles threw 33 consecutive scoreless innings in that Series.

McNally battled injury in 1967, but came roaring out in 1968 with his best season, and one of the best seasons ever by an Oriole pitcher: 22-10, 1.95 ERA (150 ERA+), and 202 strikeouts. Again, like Cuellar, that was the one and only time he would strike out 200 batters in a single season.

McNally regressed some the next three years, but he was still a fine pitcher, and won 20 games every season, including a career-high 24 in 1970. After the '71 season, McNally went 13-17 in 1972 and 17-17 in 1973, which was his second-best season by ERA+ (117) in a season where he pitched at least 200 innings. He was 16-10 with a 3.58 ERA in 1974, his final year with the Orioles.

He also hit a grand slam in game three of the 1970 World Series against Cincinnati, the only pitcher ever to hit a grand slam in a World Series game. He hit it off of Tony Cloninger, who once hit two grand slams in a game for the Braves.

McNally was traded by the Orioles to Montreal on December 4, 1974, which netted the Orioles one season of Mike Torrez and a decade of Ken Singleton, as mentioned in Singleton's entry. A great trade for Baltimore, as McNally pitched just 77 1/3 innings with a 5.24 ERA and retired at age 32. Interestingly, McNally and Andy Messersmith became baseball's first two legal free agents. Messersmith signed a big deal with the Braves, and McNally simply walked away from the game at age 32. Both had played the 1975 season without contracts.

Dave McNally passed away on December 1, 2002, at the age of 60, in his hometown of Billings, Montana.

FRANCHISE RANKINGS
4th, ERA (3.18, min. 800 innings and being a starter)
9th, adjusted ERA+ (107, same qualification)
2nd, Wins (181)
5th, W/L Pct. (.616)
4th, Games Pitched (412)
2nd, Innings Pitched (2652 2/3)
3rd, Strikeouts (1476)
3rd, Complete Games (120)
2nd, Shutouts (33)

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