December 9, 1948 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|September 5, 1972 for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1982 for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Earned run average||3.77|
George Francis "Doc" Medich (born December 9, 1948) in Aliquippa, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1972-1982. He was a medical student at the University of Pittsburgh, and acquired the nickname "Doc" during his early baseball career.
While in college, he pitched for the Pitt baseball team and played tight end on the Pittsburgh Panthers football team.1 He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 30th round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft, and spent three seasons as a starting pitcher in their farm system, going 21-13 with a 2.27 earned run average. Medich received a call to the majors in September 1972, facing four batters in his major league debut, giving up two singles and two walks.2
From there, Medich improved substantially, as he went 14-9 with a 2.95 ERA in 1973 to finish third in American League Rookie of the Year balloting. He was also the last Yankee winning pitcher at the Original Yankee Stadium, pitching a shutout on September 29, 1973 against the Detroit Tigers. In 1974, Medich won a career high 19 games for the Yankees, tied with teammate Pat Dobson for most wins on the team. Following a 1975 season in which Medich went 16-16 with a 3.50 ERA, the New York Yankees completed one of the better trades in franchise history, sending Medich to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Ken Brett, Dock Ellis and perennial All-Star second baseman Willie Randolph.
Medich spent just one injury plagued season with his hometown Pirates, going 8-11 with a 3.52 ERA. Medich put his medical training to good use during a game on the 11th of April against the Philadelphia Phillies at Veterans Stadium. A 73-year old spectator collapsed with a heart attack, and Medich performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the spectator.3 During Spring training 1977, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics with Tony Armas, Doug Bair, Dave Giusti, Rick Langford and Mitchell Page for Chris Batton, Phil Garner and Tommy Helms.
Medich was unhappy with his trade as he was a student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and wished to remain near the school. He threatened to retire, but later joined the A's, and went 10-6 with a 4.69 ERA. As he was slated to become a free agent at the end of the season, A's owner Charlie Finley attempted to sign Medich to an extension. Unsuccessful, he sold Medich's contract to the expansion Seattle Mariners in September. He was 2-0 with a 3.63 ERA in three starts for the Mariners before being placed on waivers, and selected by the New York Mets. He made one start for the Mets, losing to the Pirates.4
Medich signed as a Free Agent with the Texas Rangers following the season, going 9-8 with a 3.74 ERA his first season with the club. His best season was the strike shortened 1981 season in which he went 10-6 with a 3.08 ERA, and tied for the AL lead with four shutouts with Richard Dotson, Ken Forsch, and Steve McCatty. In five seasons with the club, Medich went 50-43 with a 3.95 ERA.5
With the Rangers languishing in sixth place in the American League West, Medich's contract was sold to the Milwaukee Brewers, who were in first place in the American League East, on August 11, 1982. On August 27, Rickey Henderson broke Lou Brock's record for most stolen bases in one season against the Brewers with Medich on the mound.6 Medich reached the post-season for the only time in his career as a member of the Brewers. His only post-season appearance came in game six of the 1982 World Series. Already down 7-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals, Medich entered in the sixth inning, and gave up six runs (four earned) in two innings of work.7
Twice during his baseball career Medich went into the stands during a game to aid a fan who was suffering a heart attack. In 1976 in Philadelphia he performed CPR and mouth-to-mouth on a fan who died later that day. In a 1978 game between the Texas Rangers and the Baltimore Orioles he revived a man who was suffering a heart attack. The man survived and lived several more years.
Shortly after receiving an M.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Medich had his medical license suspended in Pennsylvania due to a "guilty plea to twelve counts of knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance obtained through prescriptions written to nonexistent patients and to people who never received the drugs."8
His license remains suspended and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons voted to expel Medich.9
- O'Brien, Jim (editor) (1982). Hail to Pitt: A Sports History of the University of Pittsburgh. Wolfson Publishing Co. p. 32. ISBN 0-916114-08-2.
- "New York Yankees 7, Baltimore Orioles 6". Baseball-Reference.com. September 5, 1972.
- Mackin, Bob, "The Unofficial Guide to Baseball's Most Unusual Records"
- "Pittsburgh Pirates 5, New York Mets 2". Baseball-Reference.com. September 29, 1977.
- Adam J. Morris (March 2, 2006). "The Greatest Rangers of All Time - #42 Doc Medich". Lone Star Ball.
- Baseball’s Top 100: The Game’s Greatest Records, p.52, Kerry Banks, 2010, Greystone Books, Vancouver, BC, ISBN 978-1-55365-507-7
- "1982 World Series, Game Six". Baseball-Reference.com. October 19, 1982.
- "Medich in Drug Program". New York Times. November 17, 1983.
- (Source: AAOS Bulletin - August 2006 - http://www2.aaos.org/bulletin/aug06/fline14.asp)
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube