Dennis Dale McLain is a Pitcher You Can’t Forget
Dennis Dale McLain was born in Markham, Illinois in 1944. He had a solid upbringing and almost pitched for Notre Dame. He was signed by the White Sox as an amateur free agent. Then he was selected off of waivers by the Detroit Tigers in 1963, and that’s when his career got off the launching pad.
To get to the point, Denny McLain became one of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. In 1968, Denny McLain accomplished a feat only 11 players did in the 20th century. He won 30 or more games. In 1968, McLain was 31-6 and absolutely unbelievable. He won the AL Cy Young, Al MVP and he helped the Tigers win the World Series over Bob Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dennis Dale McLain was 131-91 overall in his career with 1,282 strikeouts, and he won another Cy Young a year after in 1969.
But outside of baseball, Denny McLain had some issues. He got himself into many legal jams and even ended up serving time in prison. If you read his book, you can learn more about his personal life. His success in baseball was overshadowed by the struggles in his personal life.
I will say this: no man in Major League Baseball will ever break Denny McLain’s 31 game wins in one season. I mean no one. Yeah, some people in parts of Michigan still harbor resentment towards McLain, but you can’t take away how marvelous a hurler he was in that time period.