A sinker ball pitcher with a no-nonsense approach to work, Mike LaCoss worked mainly as a starter during a 14-year major league career. He broke into the majors at age 22 with Cincinnati in 1978. In 1979 under new manage John McNamara he became the Reds number 2 starter right after #1 Tom Seaver, a Hall of Fame pitcher. Although the lanky 6 ft 5 inch, 192 pound Mike LaCoss did not collect a win until his third start of the season, he won eight straight after that and was chosen for the NL 1979 All-Star Game. His 14-8 record, with a 3.50 ERA in 205.2 innings helped the Cincinnati Reds win the NL West.
After the 1981 season he signed with Houston, played with Kansas City for one season and then latched on with the SF Giants, where he pitched his final 6 seasons. He helped San Francisco win the NL West in 1987, and helped them win the 1989 NL pennant.