Mike Garcia

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Edward Miguel "Mike" García (November 17, 1923 - January 13th, 1986) was a right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball of Mexican-Indian descent who was one of the Cleveland Indians' "The Big Four" pitching staff in the 1950s. Joining forces along with Hall of Famers Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Early Wynn, Garcia guided the Tribe to the World Series after the team's historic 111-43 season in 1954. He was born in San Gabriel, California.

A hard-throwing right-handed pitcher, nicknamed The Big Bear for his 6'1, 200 lb (91 kg) frame, Garcia was signed by the Indians as an amateur free agent in 1942. After spending three years in the military, he posted a 14-5 record, with 94 strikeouts and a 2.36 ERA in his rookie year (1949), throwing five shutouts. He won 20 games in 1951 and again the next year. His 22-11, 143, 2.37 record in 1952 included six shutouts and four saves in 292 innings, starting 36 games and completing 19 of them. He went 18-9, 134, 3.25 in 1953, pitching 29 complete games, and 19-8, 129, 2.64 in 1954.

Overall, in fourteen seasons played for the Cleveland Indians (1948-1959), Chicago White Sox (1960) and Washington Senators (1961), Garcia posted a career record of 142-97, with 1117 strikeouts, a 3.27 ERA, 428 games, 281 games started, 111 games finished, 27 shutouts, 23 saves, 2174 innings pitched, a 1.31 WHIP ratio and a .319 on base percentage against.

Garcia is one of many players - such as Bruce Sutter, Goose Gossage, Dave Concepcion, and Jim Rice - who many feel should be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. However, his normal window of eligibility has closed, and his only chance to be elected now is through the Veterans Committee.

Garcia died in Fairview Park, Ohio at the age of 62.

Achievements

  • AL best ERA (2.36) in 1949
  • AL lead in games started (36) and shutouts (6) in 1952
  • AL best ERA (2.64) and tied for the shutout lead (5) in 1954
  • Three-time All-Star (1952-54)
  • He went 142-96 with 21 saves for Cleveland

Quotations

  • "From the beginning Mike was a sneaky quick pitcher. For a big guy he was certainly mobile. " - Hall of Fame Bob Feller
  • "...because of the fact that he was in the pitching rotation along with three pitchers who did make the Hall of Fame, Garcia would have been elected to the 'Hall of Fame'. His outstanding lifetime record should serve to get consideration in future 'Hall of Fame' balloting. " - Baseballhistorian.com archives

See also

External links