Date and Place of Birth: May 6, 1917 Angels Camp, California
Died: April 14, 1976 Ventura, California
Military Unit: US Army Air Force
Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations
W “Mike” McCormick was born on May 6, 1917 in Angels Camp,
California. At the age of 17, he was signed by the Cleveland Indians
and sent to Monessen of the Penn State Association. By 1936, he was
playing with the New Orleans Pelicans in the Southern Association
However, in March 1938, McCormick was declared a
free agent by Commissioner Landis because he thought the Indians
were trying to keep the young outfielder in cold storage in the
minors. He was signed by the Washington Senators and played for
McCormick batted an even .300 in his rookie
He hit .287 as the Reds leftfielder in 1941, but
broke his leg on May 30, 1942 after just 40 games. Fully recovered
for 1943, and with a single in four trips to the plate against the
Cardinals, McCormick wound up his career for the duration on April
25, 1943, and headed for
|Mike McCormick (back row, center) with Joe DiMaggio and teammates enroute to Hawaii in 1944.|
Serving with the Army Air Force, he was assigned
to the 495th Squadron at McClellan Field in
In February 1944, he earned a sharpshooter's
award at McClellan Field, scoring 173 out of 200, but was soon on
his way to
McCormick played for the formidable Hickam Field
McCormick returned to the Reds in 1946 but was purchased by the Boston Braves in June. He would go on to have his best season in the majors with the Braves in 1948, when he hit .303 in 115 games and played in his second World Series. McCormick was traded to the Dodgers for the 1949 season and also played for the Giants, White Sox and Senators before ending his major league career in 1951.
McCormick played for Sacramento and Portland in the Pacific Coast League in 1952 then turned his hand to managing in 1953, piloting Wenatchee, Johnstown, Lake Charles, Springfield, Danville, Fresno and Pocatello before leaving baseball in 1960.
Returning to his home in Ventura, California, Mike McCormick suffered a heart attack while watching Dodgers home opener against Padres on April 14, 1976, and died shortly afterwards. He was just 58.
Created December 8, 2007.
Copyright © 2007 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.