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July 15, 2008 at 12:10 am ET
The All-Dick Team

A Dick to lead them all. Once upon a time, Dick was a common name. In fact, it was so common that when “Bewitched” needed to replace Dick York in 1969, it replaced him with Dick Sargent. Back in the 60s, Dicks were everywhere, including Major League Baseball. From Dick Allen to Dick Groat, Dick Brown to Dick Green, you couldn’t watch a game without coming across at least one Dick. Nowadays, however, there’s not a single, solitary Dick in the Major Leagues.

So, where’d all the Dicks go? Frankly, I don’t know. It’s a strange phenomenon: here today, gone tomorrow, like barefoot kickers and anthrax scares. Inexplicably, the name fell out of favor, like Adolf and Marilyn. How far out of favor? Well, consider this: According to info gleaned from Baseball-Reference.com , a guy named Dick hasn’t played in the majors since Dick Schofield retired in 1996. Knowing that, it’s nice to see that Dick Williams, the former manager renowned for flaunting his namesake , will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame the Sunday after next. Believe it or not, he’ll be the first Dick in Cooperstown. And, given the current attitude towards this name, probably the last.

In honor of Williams, I’ve put together the All-Dick team: a squad of players, coaches and managers who’ve distinguished themselves on the diamond, either through the merits of their work or through the fate of being named Dick Manville.

If you’re looking for guys like Johnny Dickshot or Bill Dickey, look elsewhere. These are strictly Dicks here, or, in some instances, Dickies, e.g., Dickie Thon. And while you will see guys named Dick Gray, Dick Green and Dick Brown, you won’t see anybody named Dick White or Dick Orange. Why? Because the Whites and the Oranges haven’t sent any Dicks to the Major Leagues, that’s why.

So, without further adieu, the All-Dick team:

MLB has never had a Dick White. Dick Brown – C
Claim(s) to fame: Played nine seasons in the American League, 1957-1965, donning the tools of ignorance for Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit and Baltimore. Hit 16 homeruns for the Tigers in ’61.

Dick Dietz – C
Claim(s) to fame: During an 8-year career with the Giants in the late 60s, early 70s, Dietz played in more than 140 games twice, earning an All-Star nod in 1970, when he put together a career year, hitting .300 with 22 home runs and 107 RBIs.

Dick Sisler – 1B
Claim(s) to fame: While playing for the Phillies, he finished 30th and 33rd, respectively, in the 1949 and 1950 NL MVP races. In eight seasons, he hit .276/.336/.406.

Dick Stuart – 1B
Claim(s) to fame: Dr. Strangeglove. Was such a poor fielder that he reportedly received a round of applause from Pittsburgh fans after nabbing a wind-blown wrapper during a game in the early 1960s. His .316 career on-base percentage makes Julio Lugo look like Barry Bonds.

Dick Green – 2B
Claim(s) to fame: Longtime A’s second-sacker finished 35th in the American League MVP voting in 1969, when he had a career-high slugging percentage of .427.

A smoking Dick. Dick Allen – 3B
Claim(s) to fame: ’64 NL ROY, ’72 AL MVP, 351 career home runs, .534 slugging percentage. Probably should have been the first Dick elected to the Hall of Fame, but he smoked a cigarette for the cover of Sports Illustrated, and the BBWAA hates smokers.

Dick Van Zant – 3B
Claim(s) to fame: Nickname was Foghorn Dick. In 1888, he played in 10 games for the Cleveland Blues of the American Association, hitting. 258.

Dick Bartell – SS
Claim(s) to fame: Two-time All-Star played 18 seasons, mostly in the National League, between 1927 and 1946. Playing for the Giants, he finished 6th in the MVP voting in 1937, batting .306. Led the league in hit by pitch five times.

Dick Groat – SS
Claim(s) to fame: Often confused with Dick Stuart (at least by me). Then again, I didn’t live through the Golden Age of Dicks, the 1960s, so you’ll have to excuse me. Groat was 1960 NL MVP, when the Pirates won the Series on Maz’s walk-off home run. Groat also finished second in MVP voting in 1963, and has as much right to be in the Hall of Fame as Phil Rizzuto. In other words, no right at all.

Dick McAuliffe – SS
Claim(s) to fame: Long-time infielder for the Tigers, McAuliffe was a three-time All-Star and finished 7th in the NL MVP race in 1968, when the Tigers beat the Cards in the seven-game World Series.

Dick Schofield – SS
Claim(s) to fame: Last of the Dicks. Son of Dick Schofield and uncle of Jayson Werth, Schofield was the #3 overall pick in the 1981 draft, and upon his retirement in 1996, Dicks vanished from Major League Baseball. Finished 22nd in AL MVP voting in 1986. Couldn’t hit for shit.

Dickie Thon. Dickie Thon – SS
Claim(s) to fame: Was a rising star for the Astros in the early 1980s (Silver Slugger, All-Star, 7th in NL MVP voting in 1983) when a beanball derailed his career. As a shortstop, he stole 37 bases in 1982 and hit 20 home runs in 1983.

Dick Cox – OF
Claim(s) to fame: Real name Elmer, which was “Dick” before “Dick” became “Dick.” Played only two seasons for Dodgers in the 1920s, hitting .329 and .296. No idea why his career ended so abruptly.

Dick Hunt – OF/2B
Claim(s) to fame: According to Baseball-Reference, it’s unknown if Dick Hunt batted left or right, or whether he threw left or right. With a name like that, I’m betting he was ambidextrous. He played one season, 1872, for a grand total of 11 games, hitting .313 for the Brooklyn Eckfords of the National Association.

Dick Gray – Utility
Claim(s) to fame: Playing for the Dodgers versus the Giants, he had two hits in four at-bats in his big league debut back in 1958. Played 124 games over three seasons, finishing with a .239 career average and one caught stealing.

Dickey Kerr – SP
Claim(s) to fame: As a rookie he won both his starts in the 1919 World Series, which is saying something, since eight of the guys on his team were actively trying to throw the series. (Fine, seven; whatever.) Kerr pitched for about three-plus seasons, finishing his career with more walks than strikeouts. But hey, at least Dickey had his dignity.

Philly loves Dick. Dick Ruthven – SP
Claim(s) to fame: Won 17 games for the World Series-winning Phillies in 1980, assuring a permanent place in the hearts of Philly fans. Compiled 123 wins in his 14-year career, making two All-Star teams. In four career post-season starts, he went 2-2 with a 3.38 ERA.

Dick Donovan – SP
Claim(s) to fame: The three-time All-star won 20 games for the Indians in 1962 and was briefly considered as the replacement for Dick York on “Bewitched.” Won 122 games over a 15-year career.

Dick Burns – SP
Claim(s) to fame: In 1884, won 23 games for the Cincinnati Outlaw Reds of the Union Association, a team whose leading hitter – at .419 – was Jack Glasscock. Burns never won another game after 1884.

Dick Ellsworth – SP
Claim(s) to fame: Won 22 games for the Cubs in 1963, with a 2.11 ERA. Finished his career with fewer wins than losses, which serves him right for pitching for the Cubs back in the early 60s.

Dick Ricketts – SP
Claim(s) to fame: Went 1-6 in 12 games (nine starts) for the Cardinals in 1959, with a 5.82 ERA.

Dick Starr – SP
Claim(s) to fame: Led the American League in home runs allowed (22) in 1951, splitting the season between St. Louis and Washington. Five-year career ended in 1951.

Dick Manville: stage name Dick Manville – P
Claim(s) to fame: A graduate of Yale University, he pitched in 25 career games over two seasons in the early 1950s. On the strength of his name, he earned work as Dirk Diggler’s body double in “Boogie Nights.”

Dick Braggins – P
Claim(s) to fame: Pitched in four games in 1901. Attended Case Western Reserve University. Had the middle name of Realf.

Dick Hyde – Closer
Claim(s) to fame: As the Senators’ closer in 1958, he finished 12th in the MVP voting, riding a 10-3 record and 18 saves. After that, he won three and saved four during the rest of his career.

Dick Radatz – Closer
Claim(s) to fame: At 6-foot-5, “The Monster” was probably the biggest Dick in MLB history. A two-time All-Star with the Red Sox in (when else) the early 1960s, Radatz won 16 and saved 29 for Boston in 1964, when men were men, closers were closers, and Dicks ruled the world.

Pole, Dick. Dick Pole – Pitching coach
Claim(s) to fame: Pitching coach.

Dick Blood – Hitting coach
Claim(s) to fame: Head coach of the Cornell softball team.

Dick Howser – Bench coach
Claim(s) to fame: Won 103 games with the Yankees in 1980, so he naturally lost his job. Landed in Kansas City and led the Royals to the 1985 World Series title. Was also a pretty good player, finishing second in the AL ROY balloting in 1961.

Dick Williams – Manager
Claim(s) to fame: Led three different teams (Boston, Oakland, San Diego) to the World Series, winning twice (Oakland in ’72, ’73). Won 1571 games in his career, posting a .520 winning percentage.

Honorable mentions: Dick Hoover , Dick Wantz , Dick Lines

Cam Martin also edits The Hub and the Red Sox Blog for Comcast SportsNet New England.

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8 Responses to “The All-Dick Team”
  1. Mark D says:

    Dick (nee Richie) Allen won the National League Rookie of the Year with the Phillies, not the AL ROY.

  2. Kevin B says:

    Dick Hall is notably missing from your bullpen. Came up as an outfielder with the Pirates in 1952, but converted to pitching in 1955. Played 19 seasons total (1952-1971). Two wins, two saves, no ERs in five postseason games. 18th all time in WHIP (1.10). 1964 with Baltimore: 9-1, 7 SV, 1.85 ERA, 0.844 WHIP. 1969 with Baltimore: 5-2, 6 SV, 1.92 ERA, 0.883 WHIP.

  3. Dick E says:

    Bill Dickey?

  4. Josh says:

    Dick Pole’s claim to fame should be taking a line drive off his face in 75 or 76.

    That had to hurt.

  5. I say Richmond is close enough to Richard, so we should call that one crappy, overpaid, and recently released first baseman Dick Sexson. I like the sound of that.

  6. Jim Dunn says:

    How could you forget Dick Such pitching coach under Tom Kelly?

  7. Derek says:

    Having grown up in Cooperstown, I can tell you that Dick Williams may be the first Dick inducted into the Hall, but he certainly is NOT the first Dick in Cooperstown – there’s plenty of them that visit every summer.

  8. Kcid says:

    Dick Donovan also led the AL in ERA in 1961, with the expansion Washington Senators (today’s Texas Rangers).

    Dick Groat, in addition to winning the 1960 NL batting title (as well as its MVP), was an All-American basketball player at Duke University.

    Dick Sisler (son of HOF-er George) also hit the pennant-winning homer for the Phillies in the final game of the 1950 season, and, although overshadowed by Joe DiMaggio, was also mentioned along with the Clipper in “The Old Man And The Sea” (as “the great Sisler”).

    Dick Stuart led the AL in RBI in 1963 with the Red Sox.

    Dick Radatz surrendered Johnny Callison’s ninth-inning three-run game-winning homer in the All Star game at Shea Stadium — a victory that tied the NL in All Star wins with the AL. The NL would dominate the game for the next twenty-five years, winning seven in a row at one point.

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