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Dick Dietz

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Richard Allen Dietz
(The Mule)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Dick Dietz was a catcher who played eight years in the major leagues. He was an All Star in 1970. Given that his entire career was played in a dead-ball era, his .261 lifetime batting average was decent. For example, in 1968 when he hit .272, his team hit .239.

Dick also had good plate patience, ending up with a .390 on-base percentage. His on-base percentage ranked in the top ten in the league during the only two years where he had enough plate appearances to qualify, but he would have ranked highly in other years if he'd had the plate appearances. For example, in his last year in the majors, 1973, his on-base percentage of .474 was 49 points higher than the percentage of the official league leader (Ken Singleton of the Montreal Expos at .425).

Dick had some power, hitting 22 home runs and 19 home runs in his only two seasons as a regular. In 1969, he hit 11 home runs in 79 games, and his .406 slugging percentage was 45 points higher than the team as a whole.

Dick Dietz's most famous moment in baseball came in 1968. The Giants were playing against Don Drysdale, who was trying to break Walter Johnson's record for consecutive scoreless innings. With the bases loaded, Drysdale hit Dietz with a pitch. The umpire ruled that Dietz had not tried to get out of the way of the pitch, denying him first base and preventing the run from coming home. Drysdale retired Dietz and eventually broke Johnson's record.

Dietz hit a home run in the 1970 All-Star Game. A front office foul-up left Dietz exposed to waivers in 1972 and the Los Angeles Dodgers wasted no time in snapping him up. Injuries kept him out for most of the 1972 season, however, and effectively ended his career a year later.

Dietz was active in the Major League Baseball Players Association at a time when the major league owners were not at all fond of it, and Dietz felt that his involvement might have shortened his career.

After his playing career ended, he was a minor-league coach and manager.

Dietz died of a heart attack on June 27, 2005.

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1993 San Jose Missions California League 79-57 2nd (t) San Francisco Giants
1994 San Jose Missions California League 74-62 3rd San Francisco Giants Lost in 1st round
1995 Sioux Falls Canaries Northern League 4th (t) Independent Leagues replaced Frank Verdi
1996 Sonoma County Crushers Western Baseball League 34-56 8th Independent Leagues
1997 Sonoma County Crushers Western Baseball League 56-34 1st Independent Leagues Lost in 1st round
1998 Sonoma County Crushers Western Baseball League 49-41 2nd (t) Independent Leagues League Champs
1999 Sonoma County Crushers Western Baseball League 41-49 3rd (t) Independent Leagues

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