Wednesday, June 22, 2016
no. 545 - dick dietz
Who is the man: Dick Dietz enjoyed the year of his career in 1970. Allowed to become the Giants starting catcher for the first time, Dietz set career highs in virtually every category.
Can ya dig it: That's the calmest expression ever for someone attempting to throw out a runner.
Right on: Every time I think of Dietz, I think of a cartoon on the back of one of his cards.
You see that cat Dietz is a bad mother: Dietz was named to the Topps all-rookie team in 1967. Other players on that team included Tom Seaver, Rod Carew, Reggie Smith and Lee May.
Shut your mouth: Dietz may have been blackballed by baseball for his enthusiastic support for the players' union and the strike in 1972. Giants owner Horace Stoneham released Dietz, the Giants' playe representative, as soon as the strike ended. And after he was released by the Braves in the spring of 1974, despite a decent 1973, nobody picked him up.
No one understands him but his woman: Dietz is remembered for not attempting to avoid a pitch that hit him during Don Drysdale's record-setting scoreless streak. In the ninth inning of what would be Drysdale's fifth straight shutout, the bases were loaded when Dietz was hit on the elbow by a pitch. But umpire Harry Wendelstedt ruled Dietz failed to get out of the way. Dietz proceeded to fly out to end the game. The Giants argued the call, but teammate Ron Hunt remembered that Dietz "stood there like a post. It was a high slider and he didn't make an attempt."
(A word about the back): 159 walks -- that's almost Barry Bonds territory.