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Original Issue


After throwing a one-hitter in his 1960 major league debut, with
the San Francisco Giants, Juan Marichal went on to become the
winningest pitcher of the decade. His 191 wins in the '60s were
27 more than St. Louis Cardinal Bob Gibson's, 33 more than Los
Angeles Dodger Don Drysdale's and 54 more than Dodger Sandy
Koufax's. That holy trinity accumulated five Cy Young Awards in
that period, but Marichal, a Dominican Republic native, would
never get one in a 16-year career in which he had a 243-142
record, a 2.89 ERA, 2,303 strikeouts and nine All-Star Game
selections. He won more than 20 games six years out of seven
during the '60s, including three seasons of 25 or more victories.

But Marichal is perhaps best known for his blood feud with the
Dodgers, against whom he won 21 of 25 career decisions at home,
and an event in which some blood spilled. Less than two weeks
after making his only SI cover appearance (above), Marichal, at
bat, got into an argument with L.A. catcher John Roseboro that
turned nasty. Marichal hit Roseboro over the head with his bat,
opening a two-inch gash. Marichal was fined a then-record $1,750
and suspended for nine days. "I did good things for the game,
but wish I could take back that one incident," he says. "I
regret it."

Roseboro forgave Marichal, but it was harder for Dodgers fans to
forgive him, though Marichal played for L.A. in 1975, his last
big league season. After his career ended, at age 37, Marichal
split time between San Francisco and his banana and rice farm in
the Dominican Republic. In '83 he became the first Latin player
to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the annual
election and was hired as the director of Latin American
scouting for the Oakland A's, a position he held for 12 years.
He helped sign Tony Batista, Felix Jose and Luis Polonia among

Next, politics came calling. Last fall incoming Dominican
president Leonel Fernandez offered Marichal a cabinet position:
minister of sports, physical education and recreation. In that
role the 59-year-old Marichal primarily oversees his country's
athletic budget and the building of parks, but he also
facilitates relationships between Dominican baseball talent and
major league scouts. The SI cover story on Marichal heralded the
48 Latins playing in the majors 32 years ago as "the new
conquistadores." This season there were 57 Dominicans alone on
Opening Day rosters. "It was good to be among the first," says
Marichal, who is still revered in his homeland. "Now it seems
every club has a Latino star."


COLOR PHOTO: NEIL LEIFER [Cover of August 9, 1965 Sports Illustrated magazine featuring Juan Marishal]