Monday, October 16, 2017

no. 713 - mike marshall

Who is the man: Mike Marshall arrived in 1970 with the team on which he'd build his reputation. He was traded from Houston to Montreal in June of that year.

Can ya dig it: It appears that Marshall is wearing a Detroit Tigers jersey. Marshall last played for the Tigers in 1967.

Right on: The "b" on the airbrushed cap looks quite puny. And it looks like the artist missed a spot around the left neck area.

You see that cat Marshall is a bad mother: Marshall set the major league record by appearing in a still amazing 106 games in relief in 1974. He pitched 208 1/3 relief innings and won the Cy Young Award.

Shut your mouth: During his career, Marshall refused to sign autographs because he thought kids shouldn't look up to players as heroes. I also read somewhere a long time ago that he refused to pose for baseball card photographs midway through his career and that's why you saw nothing but action shots of him from 1975 onward (and why his cards always looked bitchin').

No one understands him but his woman: Marshall, whose advanced knowledge of the science of kinesiology and his support for unconventional pitching methods is well-known, last worked for a major league organization in 1981.

(A word about the back): Marshall spent his first six seasons in pro baseball as shortstop. He hit .280 in 2,026 at-bats in the minor leagues during those years.


  1. He pretty much refuses to sign autographs now as well. One of the most famously difficult sigs to get for anybody working in sets of this era.

  2. I love it when the phrase Mike Marshall-autograph comes up. By some happenstance 35 years ago I found myself in graduate school and befriended and shared apartments with Bill Corcoran who was into baseball autographs. He told me then Mike Marshall was (along basketball's Bill Russell) the toughest autograph. Fast forward to near the present day, Bill has made a living out being an autograph collector dealer but has in the past 10 years persuaded Mike Marshall to at least one possibly two private signing sessions. It must have been amazing case of salesmanship. But I can see it too, Bill is gracious and funny a real straight shooter.

  3. Tried to get his autograph when he was with the Dodgers. Told me to produce my school report card showing that I had all A's and he'd sign for me. Like I carried my report with me back then. Probably because it didn't have all A's...

  4. I wonder exactly when Marshall stopped posing for Topps? From a little internet research:

    --His rookie card was in the '68 set with the Tigers. The photo on that one is a posed shot, and looks legitimate.

    --His '69 card shows him on the Pilots, a first-year expansion team, in a capless shot.

    --He doesn't have a card in the '70 set.

    --His '71, '72 and '73 cards all look airbrushed.

    --His '74, '75, '76 and '77 cards have long-distance action shots.

    --He doesn't have a card in any Topps set after 1977. There may have been legitimate reasons for not including him in 1978 and 1981 sets (at the time each set would have gone to press, he was not under contract to any MLB team, and it may have been questionable whether he would play in the majors in the coming season; Fleer and Donruss didn't include him in '81 either), but there is no obvious reason why he shouldn't have gotten a card in 1979 and 1980.

    --Marshall last played in the majors in 1981 with the Mets, who released him shortly after the season ended. The only one of the three major card companies to include him in their '82 set was Fleer, who used a long-distance action shot.

  5. The man is a genius. Teams won't hire him as a pitching instructor because his ideas make sense, plus he would put trainers out of work.