- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10½", Weight 215 lb.
- Debut May 20, 1878
- Final Game October 7, 1887
- Born November 3, 1856 in Glasgow, Scotland
- Died March 10, 1918 in Paterson, NJ USA
Born in Scotland, McCormick began his career in 1877 with the Columbus Buckeyes of the International Association. The next year, [1878 Blues|1878]], he reached the majors with the Indianapolis Blues of the National League, but the team folded after one season. He then joined the Cleveland Blues as a player and manager in 1879. He lost a league-leading 40 games in his first year with Cleveland, but the next summer, he won a league-high 45, posted a 1.85 ERA, and paced the NL with 72 complete games as his club came in third. After stepping down as manager, he won an NL-best 36 games in 1882, and the next year, he led the circuit with a 1.84 ERA.
During the 1884 season, McCormick jumped to the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds of the Union Association for $2,500. He won 40 games between the two clubs and paced the UA with a 1.54 ERA. The circuit folded, however, after the season, and he had to pay a $1,000 fine to return to the NL. He began 1885 with the Providence Grays but was sold to the Chicago White Stockings in early July. He went on to throw 5 complete games in that fall's World Series against the St. Louis Browns of the American Association. He won 31 games for Chicago in 1886 but was traded to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys prior to the 1887 season. He went 13-23 for Pittsburgh that year and then retired when the team tried to cut his pay.
McCormick won 265 lifetime games and four of the ten most similar players, according to the similarity scores method, are in the Hall of Fame. McCormick is not the pitcher with the most wins who is not in the Hall, however. His contemporary Bobby Mathews (who ended his career at the same time as McCormick in 1887) holds that honor with 297 victories. Mathews notched many of his wins in the National Association, however. Tony Mullane also had more victories than McCormick.
McCormick was the first Scot to play in Major League Baseball. Although he and his contemporary Hugh Nicol, the second player from Scotland, both played in the majors for ten years, they never were teammates; they both also became managers. In addition, McCormick umpired one National League game in 1885.
McCormick was the all-time leader in wins by a non-American pitcher until Ferguson Jenkins broke his mark almost a century later.
He started 40 games against Mickey Welch: no other pitchers have ever had as many starts against each other.
- 2-time League ERA Leader (1883/NL & 1884/UA)
- 2-time NL Wins Leader (1880 & 1882)
- NL Winning Percentage Leader (1883)
- 2-time NL Games Pitched Leader (1880 & 1882)
- 3-time NL Complete Games Leader (1880-182)
- UA Shutouts Leader (1884)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 8 (1879-1886)
- 30 Wins Seasons: 4 (1880, 1882, 1884 & 1886)
- 40 Wins Seasons: 2 (1880 & 1884)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 9 (1879-1887)
- 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 8 (1879-1884, 1886 & 1887)
- 400 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1879-1882 & 1884)
- 500 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1879-1882 & 1884)
- 600 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1880)
- 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 3 (1880, 1882 & 1884)
- 300 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (1884)