|Born: October 31, 1942|
|Died: December 1, 2002 (aged 60)|
|September 26, 1962, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 8, 1975, for the Montreal Expos|
|Earned run average||3.24|
|Career highlights and awards|
David Arthur McNally (October 31, 1942 – December 1, 2002) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a left-handed pitcher from 1962 through 1975, most notably as a member of the Baltimore Orioles dynasty that won four American League pennants and two World Series championships between 1966 and 1971. A three-time All-Star, McNally won 20 or more games for four consecutive seasons between 1968 and 1971. In 1978, he was inducted into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame.
McNally is the only pitcher in major league history to hit a grand slam in a World Series (Game 3, 1970, a 9–3 victory). The bat (lent to him by teammate Curt Motton) and ball are in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
He is also part of World Series history for his (and his pitching mates') performance in 1966, which the Orioles swept the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers. In the fourth game, McNally and Don Drysdale matched four-hitters; one of Baltimore's hits was Frank Robinson's fourth-inning home run for a 1–0 Oriole victory. McNally's shutout capped a World Series in which Baltimore pitchers set a Fall Classic record by pitching 33⅓ consecutive shutout innings, beginning with Moe Drabowsky's 6⅔ scoreless innings in relief of McNally (Drabowsky entered the game in the third inning and issued a bases-loaded walk that scored Lou Johnson—the Dodgers' second and last run of this Series) in Game One, followed by shutouts from Jim Palmer and Wally Bunker. The trio had pitched one shutout total during the regular season—that by McNally on August 6 against the Washington Senators.
McNally won more than 20 games for four consecutive seasons (1968–1971) and was one of four 20-game winners for the 1971 Orioles (Pat Dobson, Jim Palmer, and Mike Cuellar were the other three). He was the only pitcher other than Roger Clemens to win 12 decisions in a row 3 times, including 17 consecutive at one time. In 1968 he broke Barney Pelty's franchise season record of walks plus hits per innings pitched that had been set in 1906, establishing the new franchise record of 0.852. After winning the last two decisions of the 1968 season, he opened 1969 with a 15–0 record; his first loss of the season came in early August, and he ended the regular season at 20–7.
In an article in 1976 in Esquire magazine, sportswriter Harry Stein published an "All Time All-Star Argument Starter", consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Because of space limitations the Irish team, including McNally as left-handed pitcher, was omitted.
1975 free agent labor grievance
McNally is known for his role in the historic 1975 Seitz decision which led to the downfall of major league baseball's reserve clause, ushering in the current era of free agency. McNally and Andy Messersmith were the only two players in 1975 playing on the one-year reserve clause in effect at the time. Neither had signed a contract, but both were held with their teams under the rule. The two challenged the rule and won free agency.
McNally retired in June 1975, and he had no intention of actually claiming free agency. According to John Helyar's book The Lords of the Realm, players' union executive director Marvin Miller asked McNally to add his name to the grievance filed in opposition to the reserve clause, and he agreed. Miller thought of McNally, Helyar wrote, as "insurance" in the event that Messersmith decided to sign a new contract. Baseball owners wanted McNally's name off the grievance, so the Expos offered him a $25,000 ($116,404 today) signing bonus and a $125,000 ($582,019 today) contract if he made the team. McNally declined. The hope was to have Messersmith sign at the same time, thus eliminating the challenge.
Miller corroborated Helyar's account in his 1991 memoir, A Whole Different Ballgame. Miller explained that while Messersmith was the primary test case, as he was still in the prime of his career in 1975, he wanted McNally to add his name to the grievance because he was under the assumption that Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley would end up signing Messersmith to a contract before the grievance could be decided under binding arbitration. McNally, who had been an MLBPA player rep during his time with the Orioles and, having no real intention of continuing his baseball career, was immune from retaliation by management, was working as a Ford dealer in Billings, when Miller contacted him about joining the Messersmith grievance. McNally agreed, which meant that even if the Dodgers signed Messersmith to a contract, the grievance would go forward. As Miller wrote ironically, "McNally had been a starter for fourteen years, but the last act of his career was to serve in arbitration as a reliever."
After baseball and death
- Tribune Staff. "125 Montana Newsmakers: Dave McNally". Great Falls Tribune. Retrieved August 24, 2011.
- "Pitcher who also won in court dies". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 3, 2002. p. 2E.
- "Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame at MLB.com". mlb.com. Retrieved 10 December 2019.
- Baltimore Orioles Top 10 Single-Season Pitching Leaders | Baseball-Reference.com
- "McNally suffers setback". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). August 4, 1969. p. 3B.
- "Sports scoreboard". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). August 4, 1969. p. 2B.
- "Kaline surpasses a milestone". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. September 25, 1974.
- "McNally retires from baseball". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). June 10, 1975. p. 1B.
- Goldstein, Richard (December 3, 2002). "Dave McNally, 60, early free agent, dies". New York Times. Retrieved September 17, 2017.