Sam McDowell

Sam McDowell

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Sam McDowell

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Samuel Edward Thomas McDowell (born September 21, 1942 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), is a former professional baseball pitcher. He played fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball, with the first 11 coming for the Cleveland Indians before a 1971 trade to the San Francisco Giants, followed by stints with the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. A six-time All-Star (1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970 and 1971), McDowell was primarily a starting pitcher during his major league career.

Tall (6 feet, 5 inches) and powerful, his left-handed fastball was delivered with an unusually calm pitching motion which led to his memorable nickname: "Sudden Sam." His strikeout prowess was sometimes nullified by periodic control problems.

With the Indians

1960-61: Major league debut

Prior to the 1960 season, McDowell signed with the Indians for a $75,000 bonus. After spending 1960 with the Class-D Lakeland Indians, he was promoted to the Triple-A Salt Lake City Bees of the Pacific Coast League. He finished the year there with a record of 13-10 and a 4.42 earned run average.

This was enough to earn him a promotion to the majors in September, and one week before his 19th birthday he made his MLB debut for the Indians. Starting against the Minnesota Twins, McDowell pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, giving up just three hits. However, in a harbinger of things to come, he also walked five batters before being relieved by Frank Funk. Funk gave...
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