Mahaffey had an unusually effective pickoff move. Called up to the Phillies in 1960, he vowed to pick off his first baserunner. He picked off his first three: the Cardinals Curt Flood and Bill White during one relief appearance, and the Giants’ Jim Marshall in the next. His move toward second was also deceptive because no one would be covering the bag. He would whirl and fake a throw so convincingly that the runner would either freeze or set out for third. On April 23, 1961, Mahaffey fanned 17 Cubs (winning 6-0) to tie the since-broken NL record for strikeouts in a day game. He finished the year with a league-high 19 losses. He went 19-14 in 1962, but lost his fastball to an arm injury in 1963.