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Cy Malis

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Cyrus Sol Malis

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[edit] Biographical Information

Cy Malis was a baseball, football and basketball star at Brown Prep School in Philadelphia. At the age of 15 he went 15-4 and fanned 22 batters in a game against Villanova Prep. He began his professional career with the 1927 Northampton Red Sox but was released halfway through the year when he asked for a break due to a tired arm. Picked up by the Cambridge Canners of the same league, he was allowed to rest on occasion and pitch out of the bullpen. He went 5-6 that season. The Philadelphia Phillies offered him a try-out after the year and he signed with the club. Assigned to their Lynn Papooses farm team, Malis was 0-4 and was released.

Despite not having pitched in Organized Baseball for years and having a career 5-10 record in the low minors, the Phillies came calling again in 1934, showing the same talent judgment that led them to be the laughingstock of the National League. Their interest in Malis was partially to have a local player on the team and create hometown interest. Cy pitched one game for the Phils, posting a 4.91 ERA in 3 2/3 innings of relief on August 17. He finished his career with a brief appearance for the 1936 Los Angeles Angels.

Malis joined the US Navy after Pearl Harbor. He suffered a serious injury when a gun mount hit him. The medical staff gave him morphine and he became a drug addict. Several months later Cy was able to break the addiction by using alcohol and went through years of withdrawal.

To help others suffering like he had, Malis founded Narcotics Anonymous, which soon became a national organization. Cy spoke all over, especially in prisons on the west coast, about drug rehabiliation, using his military experience as a guide.

Cy also acted for a time, getting roles in Ladies' Day (1943), The Court Martial of Billy Mitchell (1955) and the Alamo (1960) as well as the TV show Perry Mason.

He is one of only three pitchers to get hit in his first and only career plate appearance. The others are Charlie Faust and John Rheinecker.

Source: The Big Book of Jewish Baseball by Peter Horvitz and Joachim Horvitz

[edit] Related Sites

  • For a full filmography of his 35 year career with MGM Studios, click here
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