November 7, 1974
On this date in 1974, Dodgers relief pitcher Mike Marshall became the first relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. Marshall was 15-12 with a 2.42 ERA in 106 appearances for the Dodgers. He led the NL in saves, appearances and games finished. His 106 appearances would set a major league record for most appearances by a pitcher in a single season.
Marshall would also set records for most consecutive appearances (13) and most innings pitched in a season by a reliever (208.1). He was also named NL Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News that year. Marshall made the All-Star team and also finished third in MVP voting that season. He finished the year with 143 strikeouts, 21 saves and finished 83 games.
The right-hander came to the Dodgers in 1973 in a trade from the Expos in exchange for Willie Davis. He then became the Dodgers primary arm out of the bullpen and was named an All-Star in 1974-75. He remained with the team until 1976 when he was traded to the Atlanta Braves for Lee Lacy and Elias Sosa. Marshall remained in baseball until 1981 where he spent his final season with the New York Mets.
He never found the same success as he did with the Dodgers, but set an American League record for appearances in 1979 with the Minnesota Twins. He appeared in 90 games for the Twins as a 36-year-old and also led the league in saves with 32. Marshall finished his career with a 3.14 ERA, 97 wins and 188 saves in 14 seasons.
Since 1974, eight relief pitchers have won the Cy Young Award, including another Dodger in 2003 when Eric Gagne won the award after saving 55 games with a 1.20 ERA. In total, the Dodgers have won the most Cy Young awards with 10 total awards split between Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
The Dodgers may add to that total this season if Cy Young finalist Clayton Kershaw is announced the winner next week.
In case you missed it-Dodgers Decline Mark Ellis And Chris Capuano Options