Joe McGinnityJoseph Jerome McGinnity
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1946
Primary team: New York Giants
Primary position: Pitcher
“McGinnity is the latest find of Manager (John) McCloskey, and to judge of his work in the game he is a jewel of the first order,” the Sporting Life wrote in 1893. “He is a wonder and pitches a lightning ball.”
While Joe McGinnity didn’t reach the major leagues until he was 28 years old, once he got there he dominated. In each of his first eight seasons, McGinnity won at least 20 games and twice won more than 30. He led all of baseball in victories four times in his career and lived up to his “Iron Man” nickname as well. McGinnity averaged 344 1/3 innings a season, twice throwing more than 400 innings.
McGinnity won 28 games in each of his first two seasons, leading the National League both times. At the beginning of his career, McGinnity pitched for the Baltimore Orioles and Brooklyn Superbas, before joining the New York Giants midway through 1902.
With the Giants, McGinnity joined with Christy Mathewson to form one of the most dominant 1-2 punches in baseball history. From 1903-1908, McGinnity’s last year in the major leagues, either he or Mathewson led the National League in victories.
McGinnity’s best season came in 1904. That season, he led the league in wins (35), ERA (1.61), shutouts (nine), innings pitched (408) and WHIP (0.963). While he set many career bests in 1904, his career high in innings had come a year earlier, when he threw 434 innings, the third highest total in the 20th century.
Mathewson and McGinnity’s dominance would produce one NL pennant, coming in 1905. McGinnity won 21 games during the regular season and added a shutout in the World Series, helping New York defeat Philadelphia, 4-1.
Though McGinnity’s major league career ended when the Giants released him after the 1908 season, he continued pitching in the minor leagues until 1925 when he was 54 years old. He won another 199 games after the end of his major league career, pushing his win total in the majors and minors to more than 450.
McGinnity’s “Iron Man” nickname may have come from him working in a foundry in the offseason as well as him pitching both ends of a doubleheader.
Year Inducted: 1946
Primary Team: New York Giants
Position Played: Pitcher
Birth place: Rock Island, Illinois
Birth year: 1871
Died: 1929, Brooklyn, New York
Baltimore Orioles NL (1899)
Los Angeles Dodgers (1900)
Baltimore Orioles AL (1901-1902)
New York Giants (1902-1908)
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