The Giants’ Juan Marichal picks up his 200th career win

Written by: Andrew Kivette

Juan Marichal carried the hopes of a nation during his playing career, as the baseball-loving Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic cheered every pitch he delivered in his 16-year big league journey. On Aug. 28, 1970, Marichal notched his 200th career win with the San Francisco Giants.

It was an ordinary summer night in the City by the Bay that drew a crowd of a little more than 6,000 fans to Candlestick Park for the Friday night game. The Giants had shown flashes of great play in 1970 but at 65-63, fans were not expecting a deep postseason run.

However, those in attendance that night to see the Giants and Pirates face off saw a piece of baseball history as Marichal earned his 200th career win.

That night, Marichal went the distance. He reached the landmark victory by pitching nine innings of one-run baseball, while striking out five.

Marichal registered 244 complete games in his 16 years at the major-league level. Throughout his career, he had a unique pitching style with his unforgettable leg kick, uncanny accuracy and varied arm angles.

For most of his career, Marichal pitched for the San Francisco Giants. Out of his 16 seasons, 14 were spent with San Francisco. He won 191 games in the 1960s, the most by any pitcher. The Dominican Dandy – as Marichal became known – was a 10-time All-Star.

He retired in 1975, after spending a year in Boston with the Red Sox and a season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Marichal’s final career stat line leaves no doubt that he was a Hall of Famer: 243 wins, 52 shutouts and a sterling 2.89 ERA.

The first native Dominican to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame, Marichal journeyed to Cooperstown in the summer of 1983 for induction with a myriad of countrymen coming to witness the immortalization of their favorite son.

“It is truly an honor, a pleasure to join the baseball greats who are enshrined in the Hall of Fame,” Marichal said during his induction speech. “I wish to give special thanks to those who are with me here today from the Dominican Republic. I know that many of them have made great sacrifices to be here with us on such a special day.”

With his induction, Marichal cemented himself in Dominican culture and lore for his career on the mound. “When I went to high school, he was in the [history] books. Everyone talked about Juan Marichal,” said MLB pitcher and Dominican Republic native Ubaldo Jimenez.

“A great man,” Dominican native Albert Pujols simply said of Juan Marichal.

Andrew Kivette was a public relations intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development

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