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Mickey McDermott, 74; Left-Handed Pitcher for Red Sox, Yankees

August 09, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Mickey McDermott, 74, a major league pitcher for 12 seasons with several teams, including the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals, died Thursday in Phoenix of cancer.

A native of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., McDermott was a highly touted left-hander when he was called up by the Red Sox in 1948 at the age of 19. Despite pitching two one-hitters for the Red Sox in the 1940s and 1950s and winning 18 games in 1953, his early promise was largely unfulfilled.

In a recently published memoir written with Howard Eisenberg, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Cooperstown," McDermott said that an elbow injury and too much drinking and carousing kept him from reaching his potential.

McDermott finished his career with a record of 69 wins and 69 losses. In addition to the Red Sox, Yankees and Cardinals, he played for the Washington Senators, Kansas City Athletics and Detroit Tigers. He also worked with what was then the California Angels.

He suffered from a number of ailments in his retirement years -- aneurysms, congestive heart failure, a triple heart bypass and colon cancer. He gave up drinking in 1991 when he and his wife won $7 million in the Arizona lottery.

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