Mickey Lolich
vs. the Mets
Mickey Lolich
vs. Other Teams
Game Log Pitching
Memories of
Mickey Lolich
Mickey Lolich
Ultimate Mets Database popularity ranking: 223 of 1043 players
Michael Stephen Lolich
Born: September 12, 1940 at Portland, Ore.
Throws: Left Bats: Both
Height: 6.01 Weight: 170

Mickey Lolich was the most popular Ultimate Mets Database daily lookup on November 30, 2005, February 7, 2012, March 11, 2012, and September 9, 2016.


First Mets game: April 11, 1976
Last Mets game: September 20, 1976

Share your memories of Mickey Lolich


Mike F.
Lolich for Rusty Staub: As young Met fans this trade astounded us. Mickey Lolich seemed so overweight and out of shape that he threw almost underhand. Staub was one of our heroes and for the Mets to trade him for a guy that owned and operated (and apparently ate often at) donut shops in the off season was gut wrenching. Poor Mickey. Poor Met fans!

MR. Sparkle
When I was a kid everyone had a second favorite team and for some reason the Tigers were mine. When the Mets got Lolich I was happy (despite hating losing Le Grande Orange). I had a Mickey Lolich mitt. I still have it somewhere. I kinda wish he had stayed with the Tigers and I could have rooted for him from afar. A total bust as a Met. That was a terrible trade. Once the Tigers won in 84 I gave up on having a 2nd favorite because their win did nothing for me.

March 18, 2001
OK it was a terrible trade. However, this guy had some incredible numbers in Detroit, especially in the Post Season.

Logan Swanson
May 4, 2001
Let's understand one thing: this wasn't a "trade" in the traditional sense. It was not made for the purpose of improving the team. This happened because M. Donald Grant, usurper/dictator of the New York Mets, was personally annoyed by Rusty Staub. Rusty loved New York and the Mets, and wanted to finish his career here. Hell, he kept his restaurant even after moving on to the Tigers, and still lives in the Big Apple. But Don Grant was bananas, and he took the first decent offer he received. Lolich was an outstanding pitcher who had just experienced an off season in Detroit. Actually, he was eating his way out of baseball, a fact which revealed itself as the 1976 season progressed.

May 25, 2001
Fattest guy ever to grace a Mets uniform...

Ron from Tampa
June 30, 2001
Appearancewise, Lolich made Sid Fernandez look like Tom Hall (remember him??) or Bruce Kison. Pitchingwise, he made Hank Webb look like Tom Seaver.

August 18, 2001
Mickey Lolich was one of the greatest left-handers of all-time, no matter his size or shape.

November 28, 2001
Lolich was a good pitcher in his prime - he won 3 games in the '68 Series vs. the Cardinals, including Game 7. However, it baffled me why the '76 Mets, who had Seaver, Koosman and Matlack, would trade one of their best hitters and an every-day player (and they didn't have that many good hitters) for a fourth or fifth starting pitcher. No put-down of Mickey, but that teamed needed Staub much more than they needed another pitcher.

December 24, 2001
I remember when M. Donald Grant traded Staub for Lolich he explained it to disgusted NY sports fans by saying something like "the team needs more speed. You can't trade Rusty Staub without instantly improving team speed". I'm still not clear - he traded Mickey Lolich to improve team speed?

February 27, 2002
I was 7 years old, listening to the Mets on the radio in the car with my mother. Lolich was giving one of his typical awful performances in a Mets uniform. He served up a home run, and my mother screamed "Lolich, you fat jerk, you stink!!!" I had never heard my mother get so angry at a Mets player. To this day she still despises Mickey Lolich.

Gary from Chesapeake
April 20, 2002
Yes, Mickey had some great years with the Tigers, no disrespect to him, but acquiring him at the cost of Rusty was one of the Mets' top three bonehead trades. I still remember the Mets broadcast team trying to build him up in the eyes of the fans because he had been a Cy Young award winner. Not that THAT did squat for the Mets! He was my dad's favorite Met, though, I think because here was a gut with a gut as big as my dad's who was out there flinging baseballs for money. But dad could never pronounce his name right; he always called him "Yo-lich" no matter how many times we corrected him. Thanks for the memories, Mick!

Donut Shoppe Patron
May 9, 2002
Mickey Lolich so despised the Mets experience that he sat home and ate donuts for a year rather than play again in New York. Hey Mets Fan, Lolich never asked to be traded to New York. So why did you try to destroy the guy? He pitched very good ball for you. He easily could have won 15 or more games with any support at all. If he had finished his career in Detroit, he probably would have been elected to the Hall Of Fame, with perhaps two more seasons of 15 wins. And Rusty Staub? He led the Tigers to their second last-place finish in their 76-year history. And by the time he left Detroit, he was fatter than Lolich. It would appear that the one party who was jobbed in the deal was Lolich himself.

Larry Burns
May 24, 2002
Lolich for Staub---it might be the fattest trade in major league history. Although Mick was not the same pitcher in NY that he was in Detroit, everyone seemed to like the guy. I guess the idea that everyone loves a jolly fat guy is true. He goes up one notch for being a character!

July 31, 2002
In my opinion, there are only three candidates for worst trade in Mets history:

1) Staub for Lolich 2) the Ryan trade 3) the Seaver trade

I believe the Seaver trade was the worst, for obvious reasons. The Mets traded the best player they ever had for a bunch of stiffs. I would put Rusty for Lolich in second place. Mickey was finished and Rusty still had about 8-10 years left, even though the last couple were solely as a pinch hitter. Rusty could hit with the lights out. He also had a terrific arm and was a darn good fielder.

Joe Figliola
August 7, 2002
Man, he was a big one. I remember that the Daily News at the time would have a one-page section on Sunday that showed some of the athletes with their families away from the ballpark. Mickey was featured riding his motorcyle. Man, he was a big one. (Note: others featured in that section were the Knicks' Toby Knight and his wife and Rangers enforcer Nick Fotiu and his very leggy wife and kids)

I also had the unfortunate opportunity to score the game against the Phillies where pitcher Larry Christensen belted TWO home runs off Lolich on a hot Sunday afternoon. Man, those pitches were big ones.

September 12, 2002
I remember Lolich pitching some good ball for the Mets with absolutely NO run support. And complaining about how fat he was? Anybody remember how Rusty looked those last few years in New York? I thought Rusty filled that uniform out pretty well himself! Not to say the trade wasn't awful - but come on!

November 10, 2002
I agree with Doughnut Shoppe patron. Mickey Lolich did not want to come to the Mets. He wanted to finish out his career in Detroit, where he had some great years (the photo of him jumping on Bill Freehan after the final out in the 1968 World Series is a classic). However, Mets management, in their infinite wisdom, wanted to trade Rusty Staub so badly, that they were willing to get anything in return, and actually had to go to great lengths to convince Lolich to come to the Mets.

Max Power
November 19, 2002
Mickey pitched to a poor 8-13 record but he also had a 3.22 ERA which is pretty damn good. He still knew how to pitch but had no run support to get him a winning record. I wish the Mets had a pitcher today with a 3.22 ERA. I find it odd that he didn't play in 1977. Other than some one saying he ate donuts rather than come back to NY, does anyone know the real reason why he didn't pitch in 77?

February 25, 2003
An interesting thing about Lolich that I remember from an old Mets program is that he's actually right handed. He learned to pitch lefty in order to strengthen his left hand and arm after he lost the use of his right hand for a few years as a child.

Doug S.
February 28, 2003
Although I'd rather have a hitter like Rusty, you have to admit, Mickey Lolich's ERA was a very respectable 3.22. That's pretty good this day in age.

March 2, 2003
You have to remember that any ERA of 3.00 and over back in the 1970's was not a good stat. All he represents for me was one of the many horrendous choices the Mets have made over the years, always going after washed up has-beens past their prime.

John Bruce
April 23, 2003
All of you New Yorkers are forgetting how the Tigers fared in this deal of Staub/Lolich. The last thing the Tigers needed was a dandy hitter whose hitting only went to support lopsided slugfest losses every day. Lolich struck out more American League hitters than any other lefty in the history of baseball- that includes Randy Johnson, etc. etc. A few more years as the ace of the Tigers staff probably would have landed him in the Hall of Fame. As it is, he was traded to a team with a set of already existent aces- Seaver and Koosman. So he went from being the long-time Tiger Ace (and best Tiger- the 1968 World Series was won by him- and also almost the 1972 Playoffs) to just a nobody for New York- can you blame him for this back-stabbing trade by Tiger management?

April 23, 2003
The fact of the matter is New York is a what have you done for me lately kind of city, and when Lolich came to the Mets he pitched like a nobody. Believe me if he pitched like the ace he was in Detroit no one here would have been so quick to criticize the trade. Rusty has always been a fan favorite so if you're going to trade him it better be worth it, and to most of us Mets fans Lolich wasn't. We felt the same way when the Mets traded away Seaver and got back mediocre players for him.

April 23, 2003
C'mon John, the Mets did the Tigers a huge favor by taking this washed-up pitcher off their hands and giving them a great hitter like Rusty. Lolich may have been a great pitcher once, but by 1976 he was a has-been.

Bob P
April 24, 2003
It’s not Rusty’s fault the Tigers traded for hitting when they already had hitting. Lolich may be a legend in Detroit based on his 1968 World Series performance, but he was at the end of his career by 1976. He lost 39 games his last two seasons in Detroit, with an obese ERA both years. He was a big (emphasis: BIG) bust in New York.

John Bruce
May 6, 2003
Well, I never realized that Rusty Staub was such a favorite in New York, beside the old Tigers announcer George Kell always making a fuss over Rusty Staub's New York restaurant. He never had much to say about Lolich's donut shop though. What an interesting parallel, huh? The Tigers had some great years back in the late 60's and early 70's- much like the Mets. Then they all got old and the team slid into rebuilding- different than the Mets? I don't know, I'm not a Mets expert. But I think the final verdict has to be that neither team would have fared much differently with or without the Lolich/Staub trade. Lolich may have gone 8-13 in 1976 but Koosman did even worse the next two years (1977 and 1978). Did you boo him or make fun out of him? Fact is Lolich was always overweight. He had a 3/4 delivery that thrived on the weight shift. To the guy who scored the game when Lolich gave up two homers to the no name pitcher- big deal? This has never happened before? Pitchers have good days and then once in a while they hang a curve? Maudlin, anecdotal sentiment at its best! Lolich hit a home run in the World Series- and so what does that mean, that he was a great hitter? Staub a great fielder with a great arm? You can't be serious. What a sore disapppointment it was to see Staub take over rightfield (with his gnat's piss arm) after watching Kaline out in right all of those years in Detroit. End of Line

May 8, 2003
John, we know the condition the team was in when Lolich got here. The point is he made a bad team worse. And yes, maybe Koosman had losing years in the late 70's but he had been a Met long enough with a winning record that the fans rooted for him. Lolich was a newcomer that was a big loser, and he reminded us of how stupid the Mets management was for always going after fading superstars. Maybe Rusty was not in his prime when the Tigers got him, but the man could still swing the bat. Lolich's main purpose was to pitch and he couldn't even do that for us. He may have left behind a fine legacy in Detroit but when he got to New York he stunk.

You weren't happy with Rusty and we weren't happy with Lolich, so let's just call the trade a wash. Case closed.

June 11, 2003
Lolich was a fine pitcher. His three wins in the 1968 Series against the Cardinals were the apex of his career. He also hit a home run in Game Two of the Series and outpitched Denny "31 Win" McClain in the Series. The Mets acquiring him for Rusty Staub was another trade made by M. Donald Grant out of spite for Staub's salary request. Lolich pitched fairly well with the Mets, in fact I recall a 2-0 shutout at Shea he pitched against the Cardinals in about two hours. He told the New York Press, he pitched with his head and arm not his abdomen. Grant was a real hindrance to the Mets. They were starting their descent into oblivion and the Staub trade was step in that direction. Lolich was still productive but he was never accepted in New York because of whom he was traded for. After one year in New York Lolich retired. He later resurfaced with the Padres. In San Diego they had a fan club for him called the Mickey Lolich Gut Club.

Ken Akerman
March 22, 2005
According to his profile above, his height and weight are listed as follows:

Height: 6.01 Weight: 170

170 pounds on a 6 ft. 1 in. body would be a pretty slender person. However, I remember Lolich as being quite portly, so his true weight was a lot more than 170 pounds.

Stu Baron
September 24, 2005
I saw Lolich pitch at Shea on July 29, 1976, a Thursday afternoon game following morning showers, probably a getaway game, attended by a sparse crowd of 12,588. In one of his best games as a Met, hefty lefty Lolich (no doubt the prototype for David Wells), tossed 8 innings, allowing 8 hits and 2 walks while striking out 4, the only run scoring on a fourth-inning groundout by a young Dave Parker.

Alas, with the Mets historically typical poor run support, Lolich left, trailing 1-0, for pinch hitter Mike Phillips, who fanned for the 2nd out of the ninth, before singles by Ed Kranepool (batting for Leon Brown) and Bruce Boisclair and a walk to John Milner loaded the bases for Joe Torre. Joe was hit by a Bob Moose pitch to drive in the tying run, but the '76 Mets couldn't stand such success, as two singles and a double play grounder by future Mets coach Bill Robinson in the top of the 10th off Skip Lockwood gave the Bucs a 2-1 win.

October 2, 2005
Mickey was a fantastic pitcher for the Tigers. He pitched over 300 innings for 4 years in a row, coming close to 400 one year. Baseball burnt him out.

October 4, 2005
Mickey was a great pitcher but was not happy in New York. They did not let him pitch the way he wanted. He normally threw lots of pitches and completed a high percentage of his games. Mickey did a few good games with the Mets as well as a couple shutouts. Mickey had a lifetime 3.44 ERA and 2832 strikeouts.

March 5, 2006
Mickey Lolich was a great pitcher in the American League. He was overweight and kind of babyfaced but I don't remember anyone being more focused or a battler. He had terrific stuff. I look at his numbers as a Met and they're not bad. An E.R.A of 3.22 in the mid 70's was still pretty respectable. 3.50 was more of a mediocre E.R.A in those days.

About his profile of 6'1" and 170 lbs., I looked him up in the Baseball Encyclopedia and that's what they have. I looked him up in The Sports Encyclopedia 2002 and they have 6' and 210 lbs. That's more realistic but generous, I think!

June 2, 2006
I remember as a 11 year old when the Mets traded for him thinking "Great, we have Mickey Lolich! We are going all the way!" to realizing he was one of the worst trades in Mets history, before Seaver went to the Reds.

Randy Tate
October 4, 2006
Two quick points that haven't been mentioned:

- It was Mike Vail's fantastic debut that led the Mets to believe they had a replacement for Staub. Then Vail hurt his ankle playing Basketball and he was never the same.

- Now for the trade itself. Lolich committed to playing 2 years for the Mets, but then reneged on that promise. He later came back to play for the Padres.

November 3, 2006
Another guy who didn't get enough run support, and - yes - he ended up being blamed for the Staub trade rather than Grant himself. As for all the innings Lolich pitched in Detroit, in today's game 300 innings is comparable to two full seasons, what with pitch counts and constantly babying starting pitchers. The fact that he pitched four consecutive 300+ inning years; that's like 10 years in today's game.

Feat Fan
November 12, 2006
6'1", 170???? Ok, the height is correct but make no mistake,a consistent, determined winner, Mickey Lolich was in the spotlight throughout his career. In his first full season 1964, Mickey Lolich went 18-9 an ERA of 3.26.

Lolich finished his career 12th on the all-time strikeout list with 2,832, second only to Steve Carlton among left-handers.

Mickey Lolich captured the sporting headlines in 1968 by upstaging Hall of Famer, Bob Gibson, in the World Series. Lolich won complete games in Games 2 & 5 and faced and beat Gibson and the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 by the score of 4-1 as the Tigers won the World Championship. In this World Series, Lolich pitched three complete games and allowed only five runs an ERA of 1.67.

Too bad we waited until '76 to bring him in, although his numbers indicated a lack of run support.

Jamey Bumbalo
December 8, 2006
As a kid collecting baseball cards and watching ballgames in the '70s, I remember being struck by Lolich's belly. As a 44-year-old with a beer belly, I can relate.

September 29, 2007
As Sonny Jurgenson once said "you don't throw the ball with your stomach."

Mickey pitched almost 200 innings in 76, gave up less hits than innings and his era was in the low 3.00's. That would make him a star in today's market. Cut him some slack.

December 13, 2007
As far as who got the better of the Staub for Lolich deal: Rusty went on to have several excellent seasons in a Tiger uniform. I recall one year where he had 121 RBI's. No contest. The trade was a great one for the Tigers and yet another whopper in a long history of bad trades for the Mets.

Mr. Sparkle
October 13, 2008
I'll take Mickey's pitching line - except for W&L - any time. But I have to say, I laughed out loud when I saw his physical statistics on this site. NO WAY he was 170 pounds. Maybe when he was 15 years old he was 170, but at no point in his major league career was he ever 170.

feat fan
October 18, 2008
Mickey liked his doughnuts. Mickey loved his Harley. 170 pounds, maybe not but here's a fact: hurled 376 innings in the early 70's. Let me say that again, 376 and that's without a pitch count. So when your "inning eater" goes 220 and gets a bonus it's beyond comprehension. Koufax would have 175 by the All-Star Break. Lolich was a good one, underrated and dominating at times.

bob saunders
April 30, 2009
Mickey Lolich is one of my favorite players.

January 12, 2011
I used to think that Lolich sucked with the Mets, but after reviewing his stats and starts from that year, he was a damn effective #4 starter. The Staub trade was ridiculous but not Lolich's fault. His era of 3.22 is only .09% more than 20-game winner Carlton for the Phils. He had a 2.59 ERA at the end of July. Three bad starts on 8/3 and 8/13 as well as his next to last start on 9/15 is what really bloated his ERA, not that 3.22 even in the '70s was that shabby.

Yes, he was far removed from his prime but to say he sucked is pretty short sighted and flies in the face of the fact that he pitched well enough to be a 12-15 game winner, but then this is the same year Seaver pitched Cy Young caliber ball and went only 14-11. But what can you expect when the team only averaged 3.4 runs for Seaver per start and 3.3 for Lolich?

senor ortiz
October 19, 2011
The Lolich for Rusty Staub trade might be the first and only trade where two players who were well known for food establishments were traded for each other. Lolich - donuts Staub - steak.

The food metaphor of trading a steak for a donut is accurate in this and many Mets trades.

Would love to see a book written with lists and analysis of all Mets trades.

Dianna Jeanneh Jones
October 19, 2011
Mickey Lolich was the greatest left handed pitcher in the whole world to me in 1968, He was even greater than Denny. I simply loved to see him walk onto the mound; I knew that we as a ball club would be a winner any time he pitched, but as they always say time moves on, but our memory is always around. God bless him wherever he is and good luck!

April 6, 2012
As somebody mentioned previously, this is really all Mike Vail's fault. (And of course Donald Grant) The Mets had to fill 2 corner outfield spots and first base. The plan was apparently: Vail LF/RF, Kingman LF/RF/1B, Milner, LF/RF/1B for those three spots. But then Vail got hurt, and Kranepool and the aging Torre got more playing time.

The better plan was to keep Staub, and let Milner and Vail fight for a spot. Or even a platoon as Vail was righty, and Milner was lefty.

In the days of 4-man rotation, Seaver-Koosman-Matlack had them covered 75% of the time. But keeping 105-RBI Staub would have provided middle lineup power 100% of the time. A Staub-Kingman combo would have provided more run support for big three, and probably a 90+ win season.

For a fourth starter, on a four man rotation, Lolich was decent. (With three lefties and a Seaver, the Mets were lefty killers) But the Mets needed hitting. And of course Lolich did not want to be here, and the fans did not want him here either, so I am sure that's why he skipped town the next year.

NYB Buff
April 27, 2013
Mickey was at the tail end of his career when he came to the Mets. But in his final season with the Tigers, he became the all-time leader in strikeouts for left-handed pitchers. Only two others, Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson, have surpassed him. Having this claim (in addition to his World Series MVP) is definitely worthy of the Hall of Fame. His not being elected to Cooperstown is a major oversight.

Bob P
May 7, 2013
I have to respectfully disagree with NYB Buff's claim that Lolich belongs in Cooperstown. I'll start with full disclosure: I was (and still am) bitter that the Mets gave up one of my favorite players, Rusty Staub, to get Lolich-- who was well past his prime. But the facts are:

Lolich spent 16 years in the Majors. He made the all- star team 3 times, led the AL in wins once, shutouts once, complete games once, innings once, strikeouts once, and losses TWICE.

He finished second (1971) and third (1972) in the Cy Young race, and he never finished higher than TENTH PLACE in the league in ERA (finished tenth in both 1971 and 1972).

Baseball Reference lists among his top ten in similarity scores: Jerry Koosman, Jerry Reuss, Rick Reuschel, Luis Tiant, Vida Blue, and Joe Niekro.

All of that tells me Lolich in his prime was a good pitcher, but nowhere near a HOFer.

Ramblin' Pete
September 25, 2013
Really? 170 lbs.? Hmm...Baseball is usually beyond redoubt, but I would say with almost unimpeachable certainty that Mickey Lolich weighed somewhere in the vicinity of 240 by the time he was huffing and puffing his way up the pitchers mound at Shea in 1976.

Another awful trade, courtesy of M. Donald Grant, who couldn't wait to run Rusty Staub (coming off a team-record setting 105 RBI season) out of town, weeks after Mrs. Payson passed away.

Rusty played another decade. (thankfully returning in '81). Within a year, the corpulent Lolich had retired to open a doughnut shop in suburban Detroit.

Jim Snedeker
August 11, 2015
Reading this brings back my memory of the trade that sent Rusty packing to Detroit. My memory is that while the Mets' front office had made dumb and abysmal trades in the past, this was one that just made no sense in any way, shape, or form. Usually a bad trade doesn't reveal itself as bad until later when the player that came clearly is not working out. But this one defied all logic from the beginning.

Shickhaus Franks
July 15, 2016
When he was with the Mets, I gave him the name "TOO MUCH EATER" but then again the Orange and Blue has always had big boned hurlers (El Sid. Bartolo Colon etc). As for his love of donuts, he could have been the prototype for Homer Simpson.

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