Only Cy Young won more professional baseball games than Joe McGinnity, who racked up 480 victories in 35 seasons in the major and minor leagues. Had he not developed a wicked underhanded delivery, McGinnity may have never broke into the major leagues and went on to a Hall of Fame career. As a rookie he won 28 games and never looked back. For the next decade he averaged 25 wins a season, pitching over 300 innings every year but one. Later with the Giants, he and Christy Mathewson formed a feared duo on the mound, helping New York to two pennants. McGinnity paced the NL in innings seven times and games pitched six times. His final year with the Giants was 1908, but he pitched far longer than that, preferring to accept a playing manager role with Newark in the Eatern League. Later he pitched while serving as manager, GM, and league president in various minor leagues. In all, McGinnity pitched in the minor leagues for 20 seasons, racking up 234 wins to go along with his 246 in the majors.
McGinnity was a no-nonsense man. When he arrived in the majors he was one of the biggest players in the league, weighing in at well over 200 pounds. He was just 5′ 11″ but stocky and thick. He was known to get into a fight once and a while. He fought with teammates, opponents and even umpires, once spitting in the face of arbiter Tom Connolly. When he was 54-years old, McGinnity was still in good shape, winning six games for Dubuque of the Mississippi Valley League.
McGinnity had the nickname “Iron Joe” prior to his days as a successful pitcher. He was known as “Iron Joe” or “Iron Man” because he had worked in iron mines in Pennsylvania.
Longest-Running Five-Man Pitching Staffs in Baseball History
1904-1907 New York Giants (4 years)
Iron Joe McGinnity
1979-1982 Oakland A’s (4 years)