21 January 2015

a dodger memorial patch for mac

don mcmahon enjoyed an 18-year big league career as a reliever with the milwaukee braves, houston colt .45's, cleveland indians, boston red sox, chicago white sox, detroit tigers, and san francisco giants.  he began his major league service in 1957, and promptly helped the braves win the pennant as they went on to beat the yankees in the world series.  mcmahon pitched well in the fall classic, but the braves  lost all three of the games in which he pitched.  in fact, mcmahon's team lost every postseason game in which he appeared, which included the 1958 world series (the yankees beat mcmahon's braves), the 1968 world series (mcmahon's tigers still won the championship), and the 1971 nlcs (as a giant).  weird.  here's mcmahon's 1966 topps card.
in all, mcmahon pitched in 874 games (872 as a reliever), and had a record of 90-68 with 153 saves and a 2.96 era.  these numbers included service with the giants in 1973 and 1974 when he was also their pitching coach.  mcmahon remained the club's pitching coach through 1975 before taking the same position with the twins for three years.  he was back with the giants in the early 1980's, and then coached the indians from 1983 through 1985.  at that point, mcmahon was hired by the dodgers as their 'eye in the sky' scout who also threw early batting practice.  it was during a bp session at dodger stadium on july 22, 1987 when mcmahon suffered a fatal heart attack.

for the remainder of the season, the dodgers wore a black memorial patch on their right sleeves with mcmahon's nickname 'mac' in white letters.  here's the patch on one of the dodger relievers from that team, tim crews, courtesy of his 1988 donruss card
with a nice dodger stadium backdrop.

mickey hatcher's 1988 donruss card also shows the patch 
as does phil garner's 1988 score card
pedro guerrero (standing next to fernando valenzuela) is wearing the patch on this 1988 topps dodgers leaders card
and it's fernando's turn on this 1988 fleer baseball's exciting stars card
perhaps the best example of the patch is seen on glenn hoffman's 1988 topps card
which was the easy choice for my memorials binder.  until, that is, i came across this orel hershiser card from the same fleer box set as the fernando above.
a card featuring a photo from a dodger batting practice session seems appropriate for mac's memorial.

only 57 when he died, mcmahon was survived by his wife and six children and a mournful dodger organization.

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