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Dick Wantz

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Richard Carter Wantz

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[edit] Biographical Information

Dick Wantz pitched one game in the majors in 1965. He had been at California State University, Los Angeles in 1961 (at the same time as Casey Cox), and was signed by the Los Angeles Angels in 1961. He spent 1961-1964 in the minors. He spent much of 1964 at Hawaii where his 3.39 ERA was much lower than the team ERA of 4.68.

He made the Angels' staff out of spring training in 1965, but shortly after making his major league debut, he complained of persistent headaches. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and exactly one month after making his big league debut, he died following surgery to remove it. He pitched in one inning in the major leagues, allowing 2 runs for a lifetime ERA of 18.00.

The Los Angeles Angels changed their name to the "California Angels" in September of 1965, ahead of the move to Anaheim, CA. However, all statistics for the 1965 season show the team as "California" - even stats for players who left the team before the name change. Dick Wantz is thus credited with playing an entire major league career for a team that, in fact, did not exist during his lifetime.

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