Skip to main content

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 86

Art Mahaffey was a pitcher with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1960-1965. Signed by the Phils as an amateur free agent in 1956, he made his Major League debut at the age of 22, after four seasons in the minors.

Upon his arrival in the Majors, midway through the 1960 season, Mahaffey, a 6-feet-1-inch right-hander, swiftly made quite an impact with the Phillies. In his first MLB game, on July 30th, 1960, Mahaffey was used in relief against the Cardinals. He pitched a 1-2-3 8th inning and then allowed two runners (Bill White and Curt Flood, who each reached on singles) in the final frame, both of which he picked off. Mahaffey pitched again the next day and picked off Jim Marshall of the Giants, successfully erasing the first three men that scored base hits against him in the Majors.

In 14 games (12 starts) that season, Mahaffey posted a 7-3 record, including 5 complete games and a shutout, with a 2.31 ERA. Mahaffey finished third in National League Rookie of the Year voting, behind the Dodgers' Frank Howard and Phils teammate Pancho Herrera.

In 1961, after losing his first start 2-0, despite allowing just three hits, Mahaffey bounced back in overpowering fashion. On April 23rd, in a home game against the Cubs, Mahaffey set the Phillies record by striking out 17 batters en route to a 6-0 victory over Chicago. Unfortunately for the Phillies, it was one of very few highlights that year, as the disappointing franchise lost 107 games.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Mahaffey pitched better than his 11-19 record would indicate, that season. He made the NL All-star team, even though he led the league in losses. Mahaffey stayed hot late into that season, tossing a one-hitter against the Cubs in August. Mahaffey followed that up with a 3-0 shutout of the Braves in his very next outing.

The 1962 season would bring another All-star nod for Mahaffey. In 41 appearances that year, 39 of which were starts, Mahaffey posted a 19-14 record with a 3.94 ERA and threw a career high 274 innings. His 20 complete games were second most in the Majors, behind Warren Spahn's 22. On August 2nd that year, in a game against the Mets at the Polo Grounds, Mahaffey accomplished a rare feat. En route to a 9-4 complete game victory, Mahaffey struck out 12 batters and laced a grand slam in the third inning. No Major League pitcher since has struck out that many in the same game he notched a homer with the bases loaded.

Mahaffey had a rough season in 1963, as the high work load seemed to take its toll on the righty hurler. Mahaffey only won 7 of his 26 games, while earning a solid 3.99 ERA. Mahaffey would have a winning record once again in 1964, when he went 12-9 with an ERA of 4.52.

Mahaffey was with the club during the famed 1964 Phillies collapse, in which they had a 6 1/2 game lead in the pennant race with 12 games left and lost 10 straight match ups to finish in second place. Mahaffey started two games during the losing streak.

By the following season, Mahaffey's ERA became bloated (6.21) and his win total was emaciated (2), as he pitched mostly in relief.

Following the 1965 season, Mahaffey was traded to the Cardinals along with Pat Corrales and Alex Johnson for shortstop Dick Groat, catcher Bob Uecker and first baseman Bill White, who was, of course, the same Bill White that Mahaffey picked off in his Major League debut.

Mahaffey would throw 35 innings for the Cards, before being traded to the Mets, but he never played for New York.

Today, Mahaffey resides in Allentown, PA.
____________________________________________________________


You can follow PhoulBallz.com on Twitter by clicking HERE.

Connect with PhoulBallz.com on Facebook by clicking HERE.

Comments

Jay Floyd said…
Mahaffey was definitely one of the more interesting guys I've done a History Lesson on in a while.

Popular posts from this blog

This Guy Speaks For All of You

This individual, interviewed by FOX 29 on Friday as the Phillies arrived back at Citizens Bank Park, said it best. When asked how he felt regarding the Phillies, he told Steve Keeley that he was, "Stoked, baby!" The unidentified phanatic then proclaimed, "We are talking about the Fightins here, the Fightins! Said!" Check out the media player below, as the transcribed version certainly does not do this phireball of phandom justice. The Phillies forced game 6 of the National League Championship Series with a 4-2 victory over the Giants in San Francisco on Thursday night. Game 6 will feature Roy Oswalt vs. Jonathan Sanchez in a return pitching match up from game 2. First pitch is scheduled for 7:57 pm EST at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Be sure to tune in on 97.3 ESPN's Weekend Sports Guide with Tyrone Johnson this afternoon around 1:15pm to hear me chatting about the Phillies! 97.3 is based in Atlantic City. You can listen live online HERE . _________

Who is Your Favorite Willie 'Mays' Hayes?

PhoulBallz.com is wondering which individual who has portrayed Willie "Mays" Hayes is the favorite of the public. Hayes, of course, is the character made famous in the Major League motion picture series. In Major League , Willie "Mays" Hayes was portrayed by budding Hollywood actor Wesley Snipes, who would go on to action movie superstardom. Snipes has starred in major motion pictures like the Blade trilogy, Passenger 57 , Undisputed and many more. Snipes remains an impact Hollywood actor, despite legal troubles related to income tax evasion. Snipes was replaced for the sequel, Major League II when his busy career, and possibly the film's budget, would not allow him to return, by Omar Epps. Another budding actor, Epps had previously worked with director David S. Ward, on the film The Program , and landed the role of Hayes, who had become a Hollywood action star over the off-season that occured between the two films. Epps' career portraying athletes rol

Wassup with dat? Vito Friscia edition

Friscia, image- Jay Floyd What's up with that Vito Friscia guy?  Well, he's a 24-year-old righty batting catcher that was drafted by the Phillies out of Hofstra University in 2019 with the team's final selection, 1200th overall, in the 40th round. But what's his deal?  Friscia opened the season with Class A Advanced Jersey Shore, where, in 16 games, he notched a .264 batting average with a pair of home runs, five doubles and seven RBI.  Last week, when Triple-A Lehigh Valley needed a reserve backstop, Friscia was promoted to fill their void.  When Rafael Marchan returned from a short stint in the big leagues, Friscia was assigned to the Double-A Reading roster.   Is he just a backup catcher?  For now, it seems that's his role.  But check out this quote from BlueClaws skipper Chris Adamson from earlier this month when I asked him about which player stood out to him as a guy that deserved recognition, but may not be getting it. "Vito Friscia is a guy that, earl