“When I’m pitching, I own the plate.” –Sal Maglie
Sal Maglie was known as “the Barber” because he shaved the hitters close with inside pitches (and had a permanent five o’clock shadow). Maglie was one of the jumpers who signed with the Mexican League in 1946, and it cost him a four-year suspension from the majors. When he returned in 1950 at age 33, he was 18-4. He had a 23-6 mark in 1951.
It was Maglie who kept the Giants in the race the first half of that season, before the other hurlers caught fire. He remained with the Giants until 1955, when he suffered a back injury, and was sold to Cleveland.
He was picked up by the Dodgers in 1956, where he went 13-5. He pitched a crucial September game against fifth-place Philadelphia, when a loss would have put Brooklyn out of the race. He responded with a no-hitter, and Brooklyn captured the flag. Maglie spent his last two seasons with the Yankees and the Cardinals, respectively.
After retiring as a player in 1958, Maglie coached for the Red Sox and the Seattle Pilots. As a coach, he passed his philosophy to Jim Bouton: “If you’re 2-0 on a guy, go ahead and flatten his ass.” Maglie is ranked in the top ten of all-time winning pitchers.
Sal Maglie died on December 28, 1992 in New York, and was inducted into to the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.