Perce Leigh Malone (September 25, 1902 – May 13, 1943) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1928 through 1937 for the Chicago Cubs (1928–34) and New York Yankees (1935–37). Listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m), 200 lb., Malone batted left-handed and threw right-handed. He was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
Malone was outstanding in his first three Major League seasons. As a rookie, he compiled an 18–13 record for the third-place 1928 Chicago Cubs, striking out 155 opponents to finish second in the National League behind Dazzy Vance (200). As a sophomore, he led the NL pitchers with 22 wins, 166 strikeouts and six shutouts, helping the Cubs reach the 1929 World Series. Again in 1930, he led the league with 20 wins and finished in third place with 142 strikeouts, being surpassed only by Bill Hallahan (177) and Vance (173). He also tied Erv Brame for the lead in complete games, with 22.
The next four years Malone lowered his previous numbers, averaging 14 wins and 104 strikeouts for each year. Before the 1935 season he was part of consecutive transactions between the Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees. Moved to the bullpen by the Yankees, he collected 18 saves during three seasons, including an American League lead with nine saves in 1936.
In a 10-season career, Malone posted a 134–92 record with 1024 strikeouts and a 3.74 ERA in 357 appearances, including 220 starts, 115 complete games, 15 shutouts, 26 saves, and 1915.0 innings pitched.
A good-hitting pitcher, Malone recorded a .188 batting average (129-for-688) with nine home runs and 61 RBI. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is one of two pitchers in modern era to hit at least one home run in his first five Major League seasons (1928–1932). The other is Dontrelle Willis (2003–2007).
Malone was an alumnus of Juniata College and died in his hometown of Altoona at the age of 40.
By Dean Hanley
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