“The Barber” was the nickname of 1950s pitcher Sal Maglie. Born Salvatore Anthony Maglie, the righthander saw the most success with the New York Giants in the early ‘50s. He went 18-4 in 1950 despite starting only 16 games. Included in his 2.71 ERA was a streak of 45 consecutive scoreless innings, broken on September 13, 1950 by a 257-foot Gus Bell home run. The next season he earned his first of two All-Star appearances by going 23-6 and leading his team to a three-game playoff against the Dodgers. He pitched the first eight innings of that famous Game Three, but was replaced by Larry Jansen to start the ninth. Of course Jansen promptly picked up the win when Bobby Thomson hit a long drive….its going to be, I believe…..THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT, THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT, THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT!!!!! Ahem, excuse me. Maglie soon lost his effectiveness and was released by New York in 1955. He mounted somewhat of a comeback by going 13-5 and hurling a no-hitter for the Dodgers in 1956, but it would be his last hurrah.
Maglie’s nickname came from his tendency to consistently throw inside. The joke was that his balls came so close to a batter’s chin, they practically shaved him. Maglie made no bones about his head-hunting ways. “When I’m pitching,” he declared, “I own the plate.”