Wednesday, September 12, 2001
Denny McLain is MLB's last 30-game winner
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com
Sept. 14, 1968
Denny McLain is the first pitcher to reach the magic number of 30 wins in a season in 34 years when the Detroit Tigers rally for a 5-4 victory over the Oakland A's. The 24-year-old right-hander also will be the last to accomplish the feat this century.
In the crowd of 44,087 at Tiger Stadium is Dizzy Dean, the former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher who was the last to win 30 games, back in 1934. He throws his arms around McLain amid the wild scene after the victory.
McLain, who has just five losses, gains the milestone in dramatic fashion. Though his pitching is solid -- 10 strikeouts, one walk, six hits -- two home runs by Reggie Jackson leave McLain and the Tigers trailing 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth. However, a spirited comeback by the Tigers -- ending with a game-winning hit by Willie Horton -- enables McLain to go from loser to history maker.