Joseph Fred McClain (born May 5, 1933 in Johnson City, Tennessee) is a retired American Major League Baseball pitcher, who played for the Washington Senators in 1961–1962. McClain had the first victory in the history of the expansion franchise, which is now the Texas Rangers.
The right-hander stood 6 feet (1.8 m) tall and weighed 183 pounds (83 kg). After attending the University of Tennessee, he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1953, spent the 1954–1955 seasons in the military, then bounced around the minor league systems of the Cardinals, New York Yankees and the original Washington franchise. He was drafted by the expansion Senators in the minor league phase of the 1960 expansion draft.
In his MLB debut as a 27-year-old rookie, McClain pitched a complete game, seven-hit victory over the Cleveland Indians at Griffith Stadium on April 14, 1961 — the second regular-season game and the first win in the team's history. He spent the entire 1961 season as a starting pitcher for the Senators, leading the team in games started (29), tying for the lead in innings pitched (212) and shutouts (2), and posted a creditable 3.86 earned run average. But in 1962, McClain's effectiveness deserted him; he lost all four decisions and pitched only 24 innings before being sent to the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. He retired after the 1963 season.
- ^ Retrosheet.org
- ^ Major League Statistics from Baseball Reference
- ^ Minor league statistics from Baseball Reference
By Dean Hanley
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