Marichal was famous for not getting a Cy Young vote in the 1960s despite having some great years. He just matched his great years when someone else had their great years. It also was weird in the 1960s that the writer only voted for who they thought was the best pitcher, not even a second-place vote. Also, 1967 was the first year each league had a Cy Young winner. What a weird award. No one cared each writer had only a first-place vote until Mike Cuellar and Denny McLain tied for first in 1969. Then then they added second and third place votes. Which was good or Jim Perry and Mike Cuellar would have tied for first in 1970. Instead Perry won and Cuellar ended in fourth. Could you imagine Cuellar gluing his two half trophies together.
Marichal finally got a third-place vote in the 1971 election which led him to an 8th place finished. I am certain he was so thrilled.
When I was a kid, I would get these preseason baseball magazines. Looking back the authors weren’t too great, but since I was around 12 years old, I enjoyed them. I learned about one of my first controversies in one of the magazines. Marichal complained because of his age Mays was hurting the team in center field. This was kind of shocking that someone could criticize Willie Mays. I was so naive; I couldn’t imagine a professional player criticizing a teammate. I would later learn this was minor stuff.
Marichal had his greatest seasons between 1963 to 1969. He was age 25 to 31 in these seasons. Marichal won 20 six times in these seven seasons. It was the only times he won 20, but he won 18 a couple of other times. I have Marichal at 27 for pitchers and Koufax at 33. I do have Koufax with a better peak and prime, but Marichal is not shabby in anyone. However, Marichal had a couple of other good years outside the prime, Koufax didn’t. Some people put less emphasis on those years. However, the two years Marichal won 18 his team made the post season. He helped his team win. I get into this more with Jim Kaat but I think that being in the big leagues isn’t easy and I don’t like the term hanging on.