Cal McLish dies at 84; pitched in first All-Star game played in Los Angeles

Cal McLish, who pitched in the first major league baseball All-Star game played in Los Angeles, has died. He was 84.

McLish died Thursday at his home in Edmond, Okla., after a long battle with leukemia, said a spokesman for the Matthews Funeral Home.

His best major league season was in 1959, when the right-hander was 19-8 for the Cleveland Indians and pitched for the American League in the All-Star game at the Coliseum. The Dodgers had moved from Brooklyn the previous season.

McLish pitched the last two innings of the American League’s 5-3 victory. The Coliseum game was the second of two All-Star games played that season.

Calvin Coolidge Julius Caesar Tuskahoma McLish was born Dec. 1, 1925, in Anadarko, Okla. His father gave him the long name, McLish said. “There were eight kids in the family, and I was No. 7 and my dad didn’t get to name one of them before me. So he evidently tried to catch up,” he told the Oklahoman in 1999.

McLish first pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1944, then spent a year in the Army, serving in Germany. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs before heading to the minors during the 1949 season as a member of the Los Angeles Angels.

He won 20 games in 1950 for the Angels, who were in the Pacific Coast League and played at Los Angeles’ Wrigley Field. McLish continued to play for the Angels in the early 1950s until he was sold to the minor league San Diego Padres in 1955. He joined the Indians in 1956 and won 16 games in 1958.

McLish also played for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, finishing with a 92-92 record. He also had a long career as a pitching coach and scout.

McLish is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ruth; daughter Luanne Howell of Edmond; sons Cal Jr. of Norman and John and Tom of Edmond; a brother, Ed, of Texas; and 13 grandchildren.