I saw a squib in the newspaper the other day announcing the death of Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma (Cal) McLish. He was a Major League pitcher during the 1940s through 1960s and then coached and scouted. His career was that of a fairly typical journeyman. He went 92-92 with an ERA of 4.01 over 352 games, 209 of them starts. He lost time to World War II and had only one really good year. In 1959, with Cleveland he went 19-8, had an ERA of 3.64, and made his only All Star appearance. His final year was 1964 when he was part of that Phillies team that had the spectacular collapse with two weeks left in the season. McLish pitched only two games that year, so wasn’t involved in the collapse.
So why mention a journeyman with one good year? Well, I met him once briefly. My son and I went to a card show or something like that and McLish was one of the guests. There were several ex-players there who signed stuff and moved on to the next person. McLish signed a piece of paper for my son, smiled at him, and talked to him briefly. I’m sure he was paid for the appearance, but he seemed to go out of his way to engage my son about baseball and how he hoped my son enjoyed the game. None of the rest did anything even vaguely like that. McLish appeared to be a nice man and we’re all poorer for his exit. Rest in Peace, Cal.
Tags: Cal McLish