Mahaffey had an unusually effective pickoff move. Called up to the Phillies in 1960,
he vowed to pick off his first baserunner. He picked off his first three: the Cardinals'
and Bill White during one relief appearance, and the Giants' Jim Marshall
in the next. His move toward second was also deceptive, because no one would be covering
the bag. He would whirl and fake a throw so convincingly that the runner would either
freeze or set out for third. On April 23, 1961, Mahaffey fanned 17 Cubs (winning
6-0) to tie the since-broken NL record for strikeouts in a day game. He finished
the year with a league-high 19 losses. He went 19-14 in 1962, but lost his fastball
to an arm injury in 1963.