Cooperstown Chronicles – Mickey Lolich

May 20, 2008

Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Ark_Razor, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile Mickey Lolich.  Here are my findings.

The Numbers
Played 1963-1979 (16 Years)
586 Games
496 Starts (48th All-time)
3638.3 Innings (58th All-time)
217 Wins – 191 Losses (77th All-time)
.532 Winning Percentage 
195 Complete Games
41 Shutouts
11 Saves
3.44 ERA (3.60 League ERA)
1.227 WHIP
2832 Ks (18th All-time)

Playoffs:  5 Starts, 3-1, 1.57 ERA, 30 Ks, 3 Complete Games


1968 World Series MVP
1968 Babe Ruth Award
3 All-Star Appearances
Cy Young Votes in 2 Seasons
MVP Votes in 3 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Wins – Eight Times (Led league in 1971)
ERA – Twice
Strikeouts – Ten Times (Led league in1971)
Winning % – Twice
Innings – Seven Times (Led league in1971)
Starts – Eight Times (Led league in1971)
Complete Games – Eight Times (Led league in1971)
Shutouts – Seven Times (Led league in1967)

Mickey Lolich was brilliant in the 1968 World Series when he had three Complete Game victories en route to the World Series MVP.  He has some impressive credentials.  Eleven straight 14+ win seasons, two 20 Win seasons, nine double-digit Complete Game seasons (four of 19 or better), seven 200+ K seasons (one with 308), and twelve straight 200+ Inning seasons (four of 300+).   An interesting fact is Lolich was actually a righty, but when he broke his arm as a youth he taught himself to throw lefty.  He was a great pitcher, but even in his best season (1971) there was somebody (Vida Blue) better.  He comes up short in the Black Ink, Gray Ink, HOF Standards, and just barely the HOF Monitor.  He fully deserves to have his number retired by Detroit and be enshrined in the Tiger Hall of Fame, but he comes up a little short for Cooperstown consideration.

BR Bullpen

Past Chronicles
Roberto Alomar
Harold Baines
Albert Belle
Pete Browning
Bert Byleven
Joe Carter
Orlando Cepeda*
Rocky Colavito
Dave Concepcion
David Cone
Larry Corcoran
Mike Cuellar
Andre Dawson
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Dwight Evans
Chuck Finley
Steve Finley
John Franco
Gary Gaetti
Steve Garvey
Luis Gonzalez
Dwight Gooden
Mark Grace
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Ron Guidry
Keith Hernandez
Orel Hershiser
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Gil Hodges
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Tommy John
Jim Kaat
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Jerry Koosman
Barry Larkin
Sherry Magee
Roger Maris
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Dennis Martinez
Edgar Martinez
Bobby Matthews
Don Mattingly
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Fred McGriff
Mark McGwire
Jack Morris
Tony Mullane
Dale Murphy
Graig Nettles
Lefty O’Doul
Tony Oliva
Al Oliver

Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Dave Parker
Wes Parker
Lance Parrish
Boog Powell
Tim Raines
Willie Randolph
Jim Rice
Phil Rizzuto*
Brooks Robinson*
Pete Ro$e
Jimmy Ryan
Ron Santo
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Rusty Staub
Dave Stieb
Harry Stovey
Alan Trammell
George Van Haltren
Mo Vaughn
Bobby Veach
Frank Viola
Lou Whitaker
Bernie Williams
Maury Wills

* Signifies actual Hall of Famer

Top Ten Finishes

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8 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. BraystreetLad
    September 19th, 2008 at 7:23 am #

    Yes,but Lolich pitched for MANY crappy teams,or he’d have probably won at least 20 more games.I realize his 217-191 record would be among the
    HOF’s worst,but given the 300+ seasons he pitched(three hundred seventy-
    six in ’71)and his still being the A.L.’s leading left-handed strikeout
    pitcher,I think “The Mick” merits a plaque at Cooperstown.(Plus Lolich,
    like my sister,was born Sept.12.)

  2. LestersLegends
    September 19th, 2008 at 7:25 am #

    Interesting take. They have certainly let worse guys in.

  3. Cooperstown Chronicles - Stan Coveleski :: Elites TV
    May 13th, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    [...] Klein* Jerry Koosman Bill James & Pete Palmer Barry Larkin Tony Lazzeri* Freddie Lindstrom* Mickey Lolich Ernie Lombardi* Fred Lynn Sherry Magee Roger Maris Rube Marquard* Billy Martin (Player/Manager) [...]

  4. Cooperstown Chronicles - Kiki Cuyler | Fantasy Sports Blog
    May 28th, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    [...] Klein* Jerry Koosman Bill James & Pete Palmer Barry Larkin Tony Lazzeri* Freddie Lindstrom* Mickey Lolich Ernie Lombardi* Fred Lynn Sherry Magee Roger Maris Rube Marquard* Billy Martin (Player/Manager) [...]

  5. erik
    August 5th, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    lolich deserves to be in. he is the all time leading left handed strike out pitcher in the AL. that is a record he holds. he was the all time lefty SO leader when he retired. the 376 innings he pithced in 1971 where the most IP in a single season since the 1800′s. walter johnson and christy mathewson never pitched that many innings in a single season even back in the early 1900′s. his stats are nearly identical to jim bunnings. the thing that makes him great, and he was way better than bunning was the 1968 world series. the under dog tigers vs the cardinals and bob gibson. and lolich defeated the cardinals and the great gibson by himself pretty much. that fact along with everything else propels him in. he was the only pitcher to start and win 3 games in a world series. defeating bob gibson in game 7. who does that? no one has done that. add that to a stellar career and that adds up to HOF

  6. LestersLegends
    August 5th, 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    the winning percentage and era just slightly above league average kills him.

  7. erik
    August 14th, 2009 at 11:14 pm #

    you have to watch the documentary about the 1968 world series called “city on fire” that will make you change your mind. lolich did the impossible against the games greatest team and most feared pitcher when the city needed it most. mickey lolich went 3-0 in a WS against Bob Gibson. just let that sink in before you look at everything else. the 376 IP in a single season. Him bein a lefty. it all adds up. find me a better post season performance in world series history. he hit a home run in that series too. compare his stats to jim bunning’s and factor in 3-0 in the WS. im tellin u that has to propel him someday. also the Tiger were down 3-1 too. you have to watch that documentary

  8. jay
    December 23rd, 2009 at 12:43 pm #

    Mickey should be inducted in his lifetime.Not after he passes by the veterans committee. Met him years back and he was so approachable for that autograph.Real nice guy too.

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