Top Ten Dodger Villains-Juan Marichal

Our next Dodger villain has certainly left his indelible mark upon the game of Baseball, and all of us in the process. Dodger fans could never ever forget the great annoying hate they felt for hall of fame Dominican pitcher Juan Marichal during the 1960’s. He was one of the biggest enemies to Dodger Blue in history.

4. Juan Marichal

Juan Marichal in mid wind-up. Photo from Neil Liefer

Juan Marichal in mid wind-up. Photo from Neil Liefer

Marichal was discovered by a Dominican director named Ramfis Trujillo. Ramfis was a sponsor of the Dominican air force Baseball team, who saw Marichal pitch a 2-1 victory against, and he was recruited right on the spot. He was one of the first Dominican pitchers to break in with the MLB.

Marichal will be forever known for his trademarked high leg kick, incredible control, and a nasty penchant for pitching inside. Marichal was well known for headhunting. He’ll never be forgotten for the infamous 1965 incident with former Dodger catcher Johnny Roseboro, and or his two starts as a Dodger to end his career.

But before all of that, Marichal was signed by the New York Giants in 1957 as an amateur free agent, and made his debut in 1960 by the time the Giants had already moved out to San Francisco.

While Marichal never won a Cy Young award, he was one of the best and toughest pitchers in all of Baseball for over a decade. From 1960-1973, he pitched for the Giants. In his MLB debut game he pitched a one hit 12 strikeout complete-game shutout, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning.

He became only the second pitcher ever (Sandy Koufax) to post two or more 25+ win seasons, which he did thrice in 1963, 1966, and 1968. He led the league twice in innings pitched, including posting three 300+ inning seasons. He led the league twice in WHIP, (63, 69), and four times in walks per nine rate, (65,66, 69, 73), and won an ERA title in 1969.

The ten time all-star was a very good hurler during his time with the Giants. From 1963-1971 Marichal posted an ERA above 2.76 only once. He was brutal against the Dodgers too. Brutal I tell you.

Marichal posted a 14-11 record, and a 2.36 ERA at Dodger Stadium. He whiffed 114 against just 26 walks at Chavez Ravine, with five shutouts. He had a 0.981 WHIP at Dodger Stadium. Get ready to puke for his all time totals against the Boys in Blue. Marichal was 37-18 with a 2.36 ERA against the Dodgers all time. In 64 games, he whiffed 305 and walked 93, while pitching ten shutouts against the Dodgers. Marichal tossed ten shutouts against the Dodgers! In case you were wondering, Marichal was 2-3 with a 3.86 ERA in five games at the L.A. Coliseum.

There was such legend that surrounded Marichal throughout his career and beyond. There still is an aura of hatred that will never go away. If you remember he beat Warren Spahn in a 16 inning scoreless battle that ended when Willie Mays took Spahn deep in the 16 frame, to help the Giants win 1-0. Marichal whiffed ten in that game. But most remember Marichal for that scary incident against the Dodgers back in 1965.

The Johnny Roseboro incident of 1965

Marichal, Roseboro, Koufax. Photo from Dan Frost

Marichal, Roseboro, Koufax. Photo from Dan Frost

During an August 22nd game between the Dodgers and Giants saw Sandy Koufax dueling Marichal in San Francisco with both teams locked into a tight pennant race. The Dodgers were in first place, but by just a slim game and a half edge over the Giants.

During the early innings of the game, Marichal as he was widely known to do, threw close to the head of Dodger lead-off man and legend in his own right, Maury Wills. The Dodgers were not pleased obviously, and were not shy to let the Giants know how they felt.

During the bottom of the third inning, while Marichal himself was batting against Koufax, Dodger catcher Johnny Roseboro’s throws back to the mound kept getting to close for comfort. After one throw even grazed Marichal’s ears, words began to be exchanged. After Roseboro sprang up, and removed his batting helmet to get into Marichal’s face, both benches cleared. As things got heated, Marichal was still holding his bat, and took swings at Roseboro’s unprotected skull. After a 14 minute benches clearing brawl, peace was restored, but Roseboro had to leave the game and received 14 stitches. After the brawl was cleared up, Willie Mays had to escort Roseboro off the field. It was another legendary moment written into the rich history of the two biggest rivals in sports. The Dodgers and the Giants hate each other. Incidents like this seemed par for the course.

The aftermath saw Marichal receive a nine game suspension from the National League along with a 1,750 dollar fine. He was also banned from playing in or attending the final series between the two clubs in September at Los Angeles. Roseboro who missed just a couple of games, eventually filed a 7,000 dollar lawsuit against Marichal. The case was settled out of court, and the two men would later become very close friends.

It’s interesting how the aftermath of the incident affected the pennant race at the end of the 1965 season. Marichal only missed two starts because of the punishment, but slumped losing his last three starts. The Giants had won 14 in a row after the Roseboro game, but ended up finishing two games behind the Dodgers, who won 15 of their final 16 games to clinch the NL Pennant. Coincidentally on the same day that Sandy Koufax pitched his perfect game against the Cubs, Marichal won his first game back from his suspension. It would be the last game Marichal would win in the 1965 regular season. Things turned out pretty good for the Dodgers that year, as they would go on to beat the Twins, and win the 1965 World Series Championship.

In the later years, Marichal would begin to decline and age accelerated by a severe bout with Penicillin. That led to arthritis and back problems. Eventually Marichal was sold to the Red Sox for the 1974 season. In 74, Marichal pitched 11 games for Boston, posting a 5-1 record, and a 4.87 ERA.

Short lived Dodger career

What’s hilarious is that many of the players on this top ten list went on to play for the Dodgers at some point during their careers. Marichal pitched his final season with the Dodgers in 1975. He only lasted for two games. In those two games he was bombed, giving up nine earned runs on 11 hits in six innings. He whiffed only one and walked five as a Dodger. After his disastrous two starts with the Dodgers, Marichal hung up his spikes.

Post Roseboro incident, and hall of fame induction

Throwing out the first pitch.

Throwing out the first pitch

Interestingly, the two men reconciled their differences and became close friends. But the incident still marred Marichal as he tried to get elected into the hall of fame. Marichal was denied entry into the hall for the first four years of his eligibility. Roseboro had to personally ask the hall to forgive him for the incident, as he had all those years ago. Finally in 1983, Marichal was indeed elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Marichal finished with 243 career wins, and a 2.89 ERA. He tossed 52 shutouts, and whiffed 2,303 batters in 3507 innings pitched. Marichal only pitched twice in the postseason, appearing in only one world Series. Other than the 1962 World Series that saw the Giants lose to the Yankees, he pitched in the 1971 NLCS, picking up a no-decision in his only game started in the series.

The hall of famer pitched a no-hitter, and was the 1965 all-star game MVP. The hall of famer was a larger than life persona. Everything back in those days seems or seemed larger than life. Every game, every incident is woven into the fabric of the Baseball tapestry of the past. Much like our hatred of Marichal is steeped in disgust. An enemy of Dodger Blue is twice the enemy if he was or is currently a Giant.

We have a strong healthy hatred towards Marichal that only a Dodger fan can feel towards a longtime Giant that made us sick. For many years Marichal made us sick and frustrated. The Giants erected a statue of him outside Phony Book Park. In mid wind-up I might add. I think that’s disgusting. That’s what Jaun Marichal is, he is disgusting. The Giants are gross, and  Juan Marichal is disgusting.

Tags: John Roseboro Juan Marichal Los Angeles Dodgers

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