Back in the 1956 season, the year after the Dodgers first World Series title in 1955, they traded for a 39 year-old pitcher named Sal Maglite. His claim to fame had been as a NY Giant pitcher winning 23 games in 1951 (23-6) and his nickname was Sal “The Barber” Maglie. Why? Because he gave close shaves with inside pitches to hitters. He also had that five o’clock shadow look.
He started with the Giants in 1945 but jumped to the Mexican League and was then banned from MLB until 1950.
But in 1956, Brooklyn took a chance on the 39 year old pitcher, and on May 15, 1956 the Dodgers purchased his contract. For the rest of the season he was 13-5 with a 2.87 ERA. He started 26 games. That helped Brooklyn to win the N.L. pennant by one game over the Braves and two games over the Reds.
On September 25 he pitched a no-hitter. Also, he finished second to Don Newcombe for the Cy Young Award and second to Newcombe for the N.L. MVP Award.
I also remember that in the World Series against the Yankees that year, when Don Larson pitched that perfect game – Sal “The Barber” Maglie pitched the other side of that game and gave the Yankees only five hits and two runs.
That winter, Duke Snider was in my hometown of Tucson for Goodman Food Stores and spoke at one of them a block from my junior bowling league on a Saturday morning. I was there, and Duke, after talking for a while, asked questions to the couple of hundred folks gathered there. I was down front as close as I could get. First question from Duke: “This past World Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees, Don Larson pitched a perfect-game no-hitter – who pitched against him for the Dodgers?” My hand went up on the word “against” and he called on me.
“Sal Maglie” I said. “Right,” said Duke. And you win an autographed baseball” (he stopped, asked my name and signed it “To Roger – best wishes Duke Snider.” That spring in High School, in wood shop I made a wooden baseball holder for that ball.
Also, in the first game of that 1956 World Series, Sal Maglie beat Whitey Ford 6-3.
Now, let me get to the point – Ned made a deal with the Phillies and picked up Roberto Hernandez, who will be 34 the end of this month.
Just maybe Roberto will have some of Sal “The Barber” in him and make a real difference for the Dodgers in the season play and the post-season games. This is the one side of the General Manager – to fix leaks on the roster and round out the corners. Maybe this trade will help with that.
by Roger Sobin (aka RogerDodger) When I “Googled” a picture of Roger, the two pictures above came up. I’m not sure which one is him…