Sal Maglie was a pretty good major league baseball pitcher winning 112 games in a career in which he was 33 before he was really established in the league. He pitched a part of 1945 with the New York Giants at age 28 in a year where many players were still away at war. In 1946 he jumped to the Mexican League and was banned from major league baseball until 1949. He didn’t return until 1950 at 33 and pitched until 1958. His greatest season was 1951 when he led the league with 23 wins.
I am writing about Sal Maglie because he had one of the greatest nicknames in baseball history. Sal “The Barber” Maglie got his nickname because he wasn’t shy about backing the hitter off the plate- giving them a ‘close shave.” He was also famous for pitching with a ‘five o’clock shadow.’
Back during “The Barber’s” career he played with the Giants when both the Giants and Dodgers were still in New York and Dodger fans hated Sal The Barber. In 1956 the unthinkable happened- the Dodgers purchased Maglie from the Indians. In 1956 he would go 13-5 with the Dodgers and pitch a no-hitter for them in September.
During his career he would pitch for all three of the New York teams at the time- the Giants- Dodgers and Yankees.
Sal The Barber was the pitching coach for the expansion Seattle Pilots in 1969 and was a memorable character in Jim Bouton’s classic “Ball Four.” Maglie was a hero of Bouton’s when he was growing up but found little use for him as a pitching coach, saying Sal was of little help to the pitchers and was the king of second guessing pitches that they threw.
Sal “The Barber” Maglie died in 1992 at the age of 75.