Marichal pitches one-hitter in MLB debut

Written by: Aaron McCoy

On July 19, 1960, in front of a Tuesday night crowd of 13,279, rookie pitcher Juan Marichal took the mound for the first time in Candlestick Park and delivered an electric, one-hit complete game shutout.

Hall of Fame Membership

There is no simpler, and more essential, way to demonstrate your support than to sign on as a Museum Member.

In the first start of his big league career, Marichal piloted the San Francisco Giants to a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. The 22-year-old allowed only one hit and one walk through nine innings on the hill, striking out 12 along the way.

The lone base on balls was surrendered to Philadelphia first basemen Pancho Hererra. According to the Peninsula Times Tribune, Marichal told reporters, by way of an interpreter, that he attempted to nibble at the corners rather than give the Philly slugger something to hit.

The pitcher who would be called “the Dominican Dandy” carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but a one-out, pinch-hit single from rookie Clay Darymple would notch the only line in the hit column for Philadelphia for the game.

Both fans and teammates alike took notice of Marichal’s pitching prowess, witnessing his elite focus and mix of fastballs, curves and sliders that populated his memorable debut.

“He’s got the stuff to win,” Giants catcher Hobie Landrith told the Peninsula Times Tribune. Landrith would catch all nine innings and go 2-for-3 with a double at the plate.

On the offensive side, San Francisco would get two runs on the board by way of RBI singles from third baseman Jim Davenport and right fielder Willie Kirkland.

Throughout his rookie season, Marichal would make 11 starts and finish with a 6-2 record, a 2.66 ERA and nine complete games.

Three years later, Marichal would successfully complete a no-hitter, striking out five and allowing only two walks in the Giants’ 1-0 win over the Houston Colt .45s on June 15, 1963.

In his 16-year career (14 with the Giants and one each with the Red Sox and Dodgers), Marichal led the majors twice in each of the following categories: wins, complete games, shutouts and innings pitched. Additionally, the righty posted the league’s lowest ERA during the 1969 season.

Marichal served as a scout for the Oakland Athletics in his post-playing career, specifically evaluating the talent in his home of the Dominican Republic and teaching the country’s young players what it takes to make it to the big leagues.

“Before, we would just play the game because we loved the game,” Marichal said, according to the Modesto Bee. “The kids down there, they see how much money you can make playing baseball – how well you can live.

“I was very competitive,” added Marichal. “I used to dream about playing baseball at night. You have to love the game. You have to learn discipline. You have to work hard.”

Marichal’s love for the game and determined work ethic carried him from his first start to his last, earning him a career record of 243-142, a 2.89 career ERA and 10 All-Star Game nods. In 1983, he became the first native of the Dominican Republic to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Aaron McCoy is the public relations intern in the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Leadership Development