Marty McHale was the first Stoneham native to play Major League
baseball. Eighty years passed until a second Spartan Hall of Famer Joe
Vitiello, ’88 reached the big leagues.
A talented all-around athlete, freshman McHale made the varsity as
a position player. The following spring, his conversion to pitcher as a
sophomore was complete. As a result of the team’s defensive
deficiencies, McHale often had to work a little harder to achieve
success. In a game versus Andover, Marty fanned 12 hitters to overcome
an eye popping 11 errors for a grinding 15-11 victory. In a much
cleaner overall effort, was a big 3-1 victory over Melrose. The
Stoneham Independent described his performance as, “McHale pitched the
game of his life…he had fine control, good speed, and a deceptive drop.
Overall McHale had the visiting batsmen at his mercy.”
As a junior, the Stoneham team started slowly. Marty’s pitching
repertoire continued to impose its will on the Spartan opponents.
Indicative of the Spartans’ struggles was an agonizing 3-2 loss to
Reading despite Marty’s 14 strikeouts. The Independent labeled him a
“one man team.” Marty sparked the team’s second half dramatic reversal
of fortune that propelled them all the way to a league championship game
In McHale’s senior year, during a game with Saugus, he tossed 16
innings and fanned 21 batters only to lose 8-5. A pair of losses to
Wakefield added to the woes of Captain McHale. A nine strikeout/two
walk/four hit line resulted in a 4-3 loss. A subsequent meeting also
ended in defeat (2-1) despite Marty’s punching out 16 Wakefield hitters.
In the fall of 1907, McHale arrived at the University of Maine and
excelled at track and football in addition to baseball. During the 1910
season, McHale spun eight shutouts, three of them no hitters sparking
interest from the professional ranks. Marty made his big league debut
with the Boston Red Sox on September 28, 1910, in a game against
Cleveland striking out ten including “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. His
professional career spanned six seasons and included time with the Red
Sox and Yankees before finishing with the Cleveland Indians in 1916.
After serving his country in World War I, McHale became a sportswriter
before founding his own investment company. He passed away in 1979 at
the age of 90.