James William Maloney (born June 2, 1940) is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played with the Cincinnati Reds (1960–70) and California Angels (1971). One of the hardest-throwing pitchers of the 1960s, Maloney boasted a fastball clocked at 99 miles per hour (159 km/h), threw two no-hitters, won ten or more games from 1963 to 1969, and recorded over two hundred strikeouts for four consecutive seasons (1963–66).
|Born: June 2, 1940|
|July 27, 1960, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 21, 1971, for the California Angels|
|Earned run average||3.19|
|Career highlights and awards|
Born and raised in Fresno, California, his parents were Earl and Marjorie (née Kickashear) Maloney, and he has a sister, Jeanne. His father Earl was a sandlot and semi-professional baseball player on the west coast in the 1930s, who later opened one of the largest used car dealerships in Fresno. After playing Little League and Babe Ruth baseball, Maloney built a reputation as one of the finest athletes in the history of Fresno High School.
Though he starred on the basketball and football teams, his passion was baseball. As a shortstop, he batted .310, .340, and .500 in his sophomore through senior seasons while leading the team to three consecutive undefeated seasons and Northern Yosemite League championships from 1956 to 1958. He was scouted by all 16 Major League teams as a shortstop. Maloney attended Fresno City College and the University of California at Berkeley; he was signed by scout Bobby Mattick to the Cincinnati Reds in 1959 for a reported $100,000.
In 1963, Maloney was 23–7 and struck out 265 batters; in 1965, he was 20–9 and struck out 244; in 1966, he was 16–8 and struck out 216; and in 1968, he was 16–10 and struck out 181. At age 21 in 1961, Maloney had one appearance in relief in the World Series, hurling ⅔ of an inning early in the fifth and final game as the Reds fell to the New York Yankees.
Injuries shortened his career, robbing him of the chance to pitch for the "Big Red Machine"—the fabled Cincinnati NL dynasty from 1970–79. Maloney was able to pitch in only seven games for the Reds in 1970, due to a ruptured Achilles tendon, and he was winless in just three starts. With the Angels in 1971, he was winless in four starts and made nine other appearances in relief.
Maloney pitched two games in which he gave up no hits through nine innings in 1965, while going on to win 20 games that year. His first hitless nine-inning performance was on June 14 against the New York Mets. This Monday night game lasted through ten scoreless innings, with Maloney striking out eighteen with just one walk. But rookie right fielder Johnny Lewis led off with a home run to center in the top of the eleventh and Maloney lost the game 1–0. At the time, that game was officially recognized as a no-hitter, but the rules were later changed to omit no-hit games that were broken up in extra innings. Maloney had given up a second hit in the eleventh inning; at the time he had three one-hitters to his credit.
His second no-hitter (and first official no-hitter under current rules), was two months later on August 19 and also required ten innings, but he won that one 1–0 over the Chicago Cubs. In the first game of a Thursday doubleheader, Maloney outdueled Larry Jackson, with the Reds winning on a Leo Cárdenas home run, with one out, in the top of the tenth, which struck the left field foul pole. This was the first no-hitter in modern major league history in which the pitcher who threw it went more than nine innings. Maloney struck out twelve, but had ten walks and hit a batter; he threw 187 pitches in the game. With the win, he got another raise of a thousand dollars.
His second official no-hitter was on April 30, 1969, in which he beat the Houston Astros 10–0 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, caught by twenty-year-old Johnny Bench. Maloney's pitching line that Wednesday night included thirteen strikeouts and five walks. Ironically, the next night Don Wilson of the Astros returned the favor to the Reds, pitching his second career no-hitter in a 4–0 Astros victory. The double no-hitters in consecutive games was the second such occurrence in major league history. Gaylord Perry and Ray Washburn had accomplished the same feat several months earlier in September 1968.
Maloney and his wife Lyn reside in Fresno, where he is a former director of the city's Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Council. He has three children with his first wife, Carolyn.
- Jim Maloney at the SABR Bio Project, by Gregory H. Wolf, retrieved November 26, 2013
- Loomis, Tom (October 10, 1961). " 'Best Yankee team I've seen' – Houk". Toledo Blade. p. 23.
- "Jim Maloney Statistics and History". baseball-reference.com. sports-reference.com. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- Traughber, Bill (April 30, 2012). "Looking Back: Jim Maloney Was A Nashville Vol". nashvillesounds.com: News. Nashville Sounds Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- Miller, Cam. "The Dominance Of Jim Maloney". blogredmachine.com. FanSided Inc. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Maloney wins one-hitters, but no-hitter is a problem". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. June 15, 1965. p. 16.
- Harrison, Harold (June 15, 1965). "Mets' John Lewis homers in 11th to break up Jim Maloney's no-hit bid". Youngstown Vindicator. (Ohio). Associated Press. p. 37.
- "Maloney's only regrets seeing 'L' in box". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. June 16, 1965. p. 1C.
- "Mets 1, Reds 0". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). (box score). June 16, 1965. p. 2C.
- "Cubs go hitless on 187 pitches". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. August 20, 1965. p. 24.
- "Aug 19, 1965, Reds at Cubs Play by Play and Box Score". baseball-reference.com. sports-reference.com. August 19, 1965. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Maloney gets another $1G". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. August 20, 1965. p. 24.
- "Third no-hitter spun by Maloney". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. May 1, 1969. p. 42.
- "Reds' Jim Maloney pitches no-hitter". St. Petersburg Times. (Florida). Associated Press. May 1, 1969. p. 1C.
- "Apr 30, 1969, Astros at Reds Play by Play and Box Score". baseball-reference.com. sports-reference.com. April 30, 1969. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Angry Don Wilson fires no-hitter at Reds". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). associated Press. May 2, 1969. p. 29.
- "May 1, 1969, Astros at Reds Play by Play and Box Score". baseball-reference.com. sports-reference.com. May 1, 1969. Retrieved August 7, 2015.
- "Cards get their revenge; Washburn hurls no-hitter". Toledo Blade. (Ohio). Associated Press. September 19, 1968. p. 38.