February 14, 1952 |
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|July 3, 1974 for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1979 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||3.76|
|Career highlights and awards|
William Henry "Will" McEnaney (February 14, 1952 in Springfield, Ohio) is a former professional baseball player. He was a left-handed pitcher over parts of six seasons in Major League Baseball (1974–79) with the Cincinnati Reds, Montreal Expos, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
McEnaney was one of five children of William and Eleanor (Grieb) McEnaney and attended Springfield North High School in Springfield, Ohio. He was drafted by the Reds in the eighth round of the 1970 amateur draft. He made his Major League debut at age 22 on July 3, 1974 in relief of starter Clay Carroll in a 4-1 Reds loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium. McEnaney's first-ever inning was a 1-2-3 one as he induced popouts from Tommy John, Davey Lopes and Bill Buckner, and for the game he pitched two scoreless innings. In his rookie season, he pitched 24 games, with a 2-1 record and a 4.44 earned run average.
He was a key member of the bullpen of the 1975 and 1976 World Series champion Reds' "Big Red Machine." In 1975 he was 5-2 with a 2.47 ERA in 70 games with 15 saves. He is best-known for his performance in the 1975 World Series, in which he pitched five games (6.2 innings) in relief with a 2.70 ERA and one save, but more so for his exploits in the deciding game seven. Entering the game to start the bottom of the ninth inning with the Reds clinging to a 4-3 lead over the Boston Red Sox, McEnaney got Juan Beniquez to fly out followed by a Bob Montgomery groundout. He sealed the World Series title and became part of an iconic Reds moment as he induced Carl Yastrzemski to hit a flyball to centerfield, which was grabbed by Cesar Geronimo followed by McEnaney's teammates swarming him and celebrating around the pitcher's mound.
In 1976 he fell to 2-6 with a 4.85 ERA in 55 games. But he again excelled in the World Series, pitching 4.2 scoreless innings in two games and earning two saves. And, just as in the previous World Series, he closed out the series with a 1-2-3 ninth inning, only this time it was for a four-game sweep over the New York Yankees.
In December 1976 he was traded to the Expos, for whom in 1977 he pitched 69 games with a 3-5 record and a 3.95 ERA. He was then traded to the Pirates shortly before the 1978 season and pitched only six games with a 10.38 ERA. Released by the Pirates, he played for the Cardinals in 1979. In that season he pitched in 25 games with an 0-3 record and a fine 2.95 ERA, but it was his final season in the majors as the Cardinals released him just prior to the 1980 season. For his Major League career he compiled 12–17 record with a 3.76 earned run average and 148 strikeouts in 269 appearances, all as a relief pitcher. He later pitched in the minor leagues, retiring in 1982.
He lives in Florida with his second wife, Cindy, and they have two grown sons. He also has a daughter from his first marriage. Since baseball he has been an investment banker, had a painting business, later a bathtub refinishing business for 12 years and was most recently a salesman at Dick's Sporting Goods while working evenings as the scoreboard operator for the Miami Marlins minor league affiliate Jupiter Hammerheads.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
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