A Hall of Fame pitcher who spent the first fourteen seasons of his career with the San Francisco Giants between 1960 and 1973, Juan Marichal won 243 games and had over 2,300 strikeouts upon his retirement in 1975. He is remembered for two of iconic moments in baseball history, one of his highest points and one of his lowest.
For the high point, Marichal was the winning pitcher in what is called “The Greatest Game Ever Pitched” which occurred on July 2, 1963. In that contest, he pitched a sixteen-inning complete game shutout and defeated the Milwaukee Braves and Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn (who himself threw 15.1 innings before giving up the winning solo home run to Willie Mays).
His lowest point came in August 22, 1965 when he was at bat against Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers and hit catcher John Roseboro over the head with his bat twice after taking umbrage at how he thought the Dodgers were bunting for hits off of him earlier in the game. In any event, Marichal was a very good pitcher for a long time but was in decline when he was sold by the Giants to Boston in 1974.
He’d gone 11-15 in his final Giants season of 1973 and was decent but nothing like he had been during his lone season in Boston. Now thirty-six years old, he only made eleven starts and while he went 5-1, his ERA was 4.87 and he only struck out 21 batters while walking 14.
The Red Sox released him after the season and he spent the last season of career with the Dodgers, making two starts and going 0-1 before retiring in 1975.