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Steve with Baseball Personalities

Mike Marshall

Mike Marshall (1943- ) In 2003, I spoke at some Florida Elderhostel spring training events, along with baseball historian Norman Macht. Norman was doing a story for Baseball Digest on relief pitcher Mike Marshall, who was a star in the 1980s. Marshall had his pitching school, where he advocated a pitching style that he has maintained could eliminate pitching injuries. With a Ph.D. in Kinesiology, Marshall is passionate about this, though the baseball community at large has not accepted his theories. Norman and I found Mike open and entertaining, so much so that we went back for a second day of conversation. His pitching philosophy and technique are available on his web site, www.drmikemarshall.com.

My favorite Mike Marshall story was one he told about an early appearance he had with the LA Dodgers. He was going into the game and told manager Walter Alston that he would pitch to the next batter in such a way that he would weakly hit the ball down near the foul line. Mike wanted the coach to move the outfielder over towards the line, to be in position to catch the ball. As Mike told the story, he delivered the ball as he said, the batter hit it where he said it would go, but the outfielder was where he had been. He hadnít been signaled to move over (the coach had apparently ignored the signal), and the ball fell in for a hit. Marshall told Alston that, from that point forward, he wanted his manager, not the coach, to position the fielders when Mike pitched.

I asked him if he recalled who the coach was, the one who ignored the instructions. He did. "It proved there was no god on the world, "he said. The coach was Tommy Lasorda."

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