A Giant Among Us…..
Mike McCormick, former New York and San Francisco Giant, passed away peacefully on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at his home in Cornelius, NC after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was 81 years old.
Mike is survived by his wife Dierdre, their daughter Tara, and his children Mike Jr (Judith), Matthew (Kathy), Stacy (Mike Moeller) from his first wife Carolyn; Grandchildren Kelli (Michael Taylor), Michael III (Fiancé Casey Cronin), Madison, Ryan, Mallory and Meghan; Great-granddaughter Evalyse. Mike was preceded in death by his daughter Susan from his first wife Carolyn.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of Mike McCormick, a true gentleman and forever Giant,” said Giants President and CEO Larry Baer. “Like many Giants fans, I have many fond childhood memories of watching Mike pitch at Candlestick Park and then was blessed to call him my friend these past 30 years. As a member of the inaugural San Francisco Giants team in 1958, Mike helped establish baseball on the west coast and then went on to play a major role in the legendary Giants teams of the 1960s, becoming San Francisco’s first pitcher to win a CY Young Award. Following his illustrious playing career, Mike settled in the Bay Area and was a regular presence at Giants games and countless Giants functions, from Giants Community Fund fundraisers, to team reunions, to fantasy camps. He was the ultimate Giants ambassador and lived life to the fullest. He will be greatly missed by our Giants Family and our thoughts are with Dierdre and the entire McCormick Family.”
At 17 years old, Mike McCormick signed a professional contract with the New York Giants, one of the last players of the “Bonus Baby Rule”. McCormick played for the New York Giants before moving west to become the San Francisco Giants from 1956-62, Baltimore Orioles in 1963-64, Washington Senators in 1965-66, back to the San Francisco Giants in 1967- 1970, NY Yankees 1970, and played his last game on May 22, 1971 with the Kansas City Royals.
Mike McCormick was the first pitcher in SF Giants history to win the CY Young Award in 1967, leading the National League with a record of 22 wins, 10 losses. McCormick was also Comeback Player of the Year, and 4 time All-Star, and made the Giants Wall of Fame outside Oracle Park. McCormick was a Giant for 11 of his 16 professional seasons in MLB, and was one of the most beloved players in San Francisco Giants history.
Cy Young Award Winner (1967)
Sporting News National League Comeback Player of the Year (1967) Sporting News National Pitcher of the Year (1967) National League Season Wins Leader (1967) National League Seasons ERA Leader (1960)
Notable stat: McCormick is recognized as the player who hit the 500th home run by an MLB pitcher. He was also responsible for giving up Hank Aaron's 500th home run. Because of these two feats, he personalized his license plate with the words "Mr. 500".
Unique background: McCormick played in American Legion Baseball, where he won 49 out of the 53 games he pitched, threw four no-hitters and struck out 26 batters in a game. After he graduated from high school, the New York Giants signed him as an amateur free agent. Although McCormick was committed to attending college at the University of Southern California, the Giants offered him a signing bonus of $50,000 to forego university and join the organization. Because of the Bonus Baby Rule, he could not be placed in the minor leagues for two years. As a result, he went directly to the major leagues and immediately began training with the team the day after he signed. McCormick became the youngest pitcher in Major League Baseball to win 50 games until Dwight Gooden beat that record in 1986.
New York / San Francisco Giants (1956–1962) Baltimore Orioles (1963–1964) Washington Senators (1965–1966) San Francisco Giants (1967–1970) New York Yankees (1970) Kansas City Royals (1971)