After losing his first seven decisions in his rookie year, Malone recovered to post an 18-13 record. He led the Cubs to the pennant in 1929, going 22-10 and leading the NL in wins, shutouts, and strikeouts. However, he lost two games in the World Series, getting knocked out in the fourth inning of Game Two and dropping Game Five 3-2, after taking a shutout into the ninth inning, as the Athletics clinched the Series.
Malone tied for the NL lead in wins in 1930 (20-9). He continued to be a solid pitcher, but his promising career never really developed, supposedly because of his love of the nightlife. After 1934 he was traded to the Cardinals for Ken O’Dea, and before the start of the 1935 season he was sold to the Yankees for $15,000. Used moderately often in relief by the Cubs, Malone spent most of the rest of his career coming out of the Yankee bullpen, and went 12-4 in 1936, leading the AL in relief wins (8) and saves (9). He saved Game Three of that year’s World Series, but lost Game Five in the tenth inning on a double and two sacrifices after three innings of scoreless relief.
A good-hitting pitcher in his prime, in 1930 he hit four HR while batting .248.