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Mike Marshall, record-setting reliever and former Twins pitcher, dies at 78

Marshall was the first reliever to win the Cy Young Award, setting records for appearances, innings thrown, and games finished for the Dodgers in 1974.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Oct. 6, 1974, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Walt Alston, left, congratulates relief pitcher Mike Marshall after the Dodgers defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series in Pittsburgh. Marshall, who became the first reliever to win the Cy Young Award while pitching for the Dodgers and eight other major league teams in both leagues, has died. Marshall, 78, died Monday night, May 31, 2021, in Zephyrhills, Fla., according to the Dodgers, who spoke Tuesday to his daughter, Rebekah. She said he had been in hospice care, but did not give a cause of death. (AP Photo, File)

ZEPHYRHILLS, Fla. — Mike Marshall, a one-time Minnesota Twins player who became the first reliever to win the Cy Young Award when he set a major league record by pitching 106 games in a season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, has died. 

He was 78 years old.  

Marshall died Monday night at home in Zephyrhills, Florida, where he had been receiving hospice care, according to the Dodgers, who spoke Tuesday to his daughter Rebekah. 

Marshall won the NL Cy Young Award in 1974, going 15-12 with a 2.42 ERA and 21 saves. The right-hander nicknamed "Iron Mike" set major league records that season for most appearances (106), relief innings (208 1/3), games finished (83) and consecutive games pitched (13).

But it was during one of his three seasons spent with the Twins (1978-1980) that Marshall collected 32 saves, the most of his entire career. He won 21 games in relief in that time. 

“Marshall had fantastic stuff, the best screwball I’ve ever seen in my life,” former Expos general manager Jim Fanning said in an interview during the 1990s, and shared by USA Today. “You would see him on a cold night at Jarry Park and no sweatshirt, just a short-sleeved uniform top.”

That contrarian streak was a quality Marshall displayed both on and off the field. He famously preferred to jog from the bullpen to the mound when he entered the game, rather than ride in a bullpen cart as most other relievers at the time did.

Marshall finished his career with a 97-112 record, 3.14 ERA and 188 saves in 1,386 2/3 innings.

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