Card-by-Yankees Card: The 1977 Topps Set, Cards #539, Mike Wallace (Article 106)
by Paul Semendinger
(Continuing a series…)
Ken Wright. John Sutton. Mike Wallace.
Lou Piniella. Lindy McDaniel.
It all does come together, somehow.
On December 7, 1973, the Kansas City Royals sent Lou Piniella and Ken Wright to the Yankees in exchange for Lindy McDaniel. McDaniel was heading off to the last two years of a long and successful career. Lou Piniella was just about to begin his (not quite as) long, but very successful career in New York.
Ken Wright? Well, he pitched in just three games for the Yankees before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Mike Wallace. Wright would never pitch for the Phillies. His three games with the Yankees were the last of his short five-year career.
Mike Wallace, a left-handed pitcher, came to the Yankees and pitched in 23 games in 1974. Many people remember Aaron Small winning a bunch of games with the Yankees against no losses. Few remember, or even know, that Mike Wallace did the same. In 1974, Mike Wallace went 6-0 as a Yankee. He pitched in 23 games, made one start, threw 52.1 innings and sported a nifty 2.41 ERA.
How about this? His one start came on September 12 against the Orioles. Wallace pitched 7.2 innings. He allowed only three hits, although he walked six. (He also struck out six batters.) In that game, Mike Wallace allowed no runs. Not bad. At all!
Things didn't work out as well for Mike Wallace in 1975. In just three games, all in relief, he allowed elven hits and seven runs in 4.1 innings. On June 13, the St. Louis Cardinals purchased Wallace from the Yankees. He'd pitch for the Cardinals in 1976 and 1977. He was then traded to the Texas Rangers for John Sutton.
As a Yankee, Mike Wallace was perfect. He was 6-0 all-time. How many other Yankees pitchers had at least 3 wins and never lost a game as a Yankee? I went to the trouble (year-by-year) to figure this out. Here's the complete list:
Frank Kitson, 4-0 (1907)
Luke Nelson, 3-0 (1919)
Babe Ruth, 5-0 (1920-1933)
Ben Shields, 3-0 (1924-25)
Ewell Blackwell, 3-0 (1952-53)
Marlin Stuart, 3-0 (1954)
Grant Jackson, 6-0 (1976)
Curt Young, 3-0 (1992)
Allen Watson, 4-0 (1999-2000)
Clay Rapada, 3-0 (2012)
David Hale, 3-0 (2018-20)
Aaron Small went 10-0 in 2005, but 0-3 in 2006.
Research from baseball-reference.com (mostly).