On May 21, 1963, 23 year old Jim Maloney tied the Cincinnati Reds club record for strikeouts with 16 in a 2-0 win over the Milwaukee Braves at County Stadium in Milwaukee.
1963 was Maloney’s fourth year in the majors, having won 2, 6, and 9 games in his previous three big league seasons. It all came together for him in 1963 as he won 23 games versus 7 losses to go with a 2.77 ERA, 265 strikeouts and six shutouts.
Maloney allowed two hits in the game, a first inning single to outfielder Lee Maye (no, not that Lee May) and a sixth inning pinch single by Len Gabrielson. Maloney walked two in the ninth with one out before giving way to lefty reliever Bill Henry to end the game.
During one stretch of the game, Maloney struck out eight consecutive hitters between the 1st and 4th innings and 10 of 11, striking out everyone but Hank Aaron in the process. Of the 16 strikeouts, 11 were swinging and five were caught looking, with all five called third strikes occurring in the first four innings of the game.
Frank Robinson drove home both of the Reds’ runs. A first inning single drove home Vada Pinson, who had doubled, and a third inning sacrifice fly scored Pete Rose who had walked and advanced to third on a Pinson single.
The only thing I knew about him was when he popped up on the scoreboard in Cincinnati, ‘This Day in Reds History’. Seems like he is in every other one Ã¢â‚¬â€ Jim Maloney threw 10 shutout innings; Jim Maloney threw another no-hitter; Jim Maloney struck out 25 or something.”
The odd thing about Maloney’s record is that he was only selected to one all-star game (1965) despite throwing two no-hitters (1965 and 1969). He took another 1965 no-hitter into the 11th inning, before losing to the Mets, 1-0. He stuck out 18 batters in that game.
Commonly known as the right-handed version of Sandy Koufax, he was only selected to one all-star team, and never finished higher than 19th in MVP balloting. He never received a vote for the Cy Young Award. He won 20 games twice, finished in the top six in strikeouts four times, and finished three times in the top seven for earned run average. His most “similar pitchers” according to baseball-reference.com are Ramon Hernandez (no, not that Ramon Hernandez), Andy Messersmith, Denny McLain, J.R. Richard, C.C. Sabathia, Roy Oswalt, and Jose Rijo, to give you some idea of his ability.