Dennis Dale McLain (born March 29, 1944), commonly known as Denny McLain, was an American professional baseball player. He is noted for being as of 2005 the last major league pitcher to win 30 or more games during a season.
McLain broke into the major leagues in 1963. His first good season came in 1965, when he posted a 2.61 ERA and a 16-6 record. He would remain one of the top pitchers in Major League Baseball until 1969. His 1968 season was a remarkable one, as he went 31-6, was an All Star, won the Cy Young Award, won the A.L. Most Valuable Player Award, and was on the World Series-winning Detroit Tigers. McLain's World Series was not stellar, as he lost games 1 and 4 to Bob Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals, but won the crucial Game 6, with the Tigers trailing 3 games to 2.
McLain's baseball career was short-circuited by associations with gamblers; he was suspended for most of the 1970 season for this behavior. He attempted a comeback with the Washington Senators the following year, but left the majors for good in 1972 at the age of 28. His post-baseball career has included repeated imprisonment for drug trafficking, embezzlement and racketeering.
McLain was a three-time All Star and won the Cy Young Award twice in his career (1968, and 1969, when he shared the award with Mike Cuellar). His lifetime record includes a record of 131-91, an ERA of 3.39 and 1282 strikeouts in 1886 innings pitched.
Between his stints in prison and rehabilitation in the mid-1980s to the early 1990s, McLain could be found on various sports shows on talk radio and occasionally on panel-format sports shows on network television in the Detroit area. He could also be found signing autographs at a metro Detroit 7-11, where he was employed on work-release.
A character in the motion picture film The Upside of Anger was partly based on McLain.