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Dick Hyde

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Richard Elde Hyde

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It took Dick Hyde , a bespectacled, submarine-style throwing right-hander, the better part of a decade to reach the majors after signing with the Washington Senators in 1949 out of the University of Illinois. After several minor league seasons wrapped around two years with the United States Military Service in 1951 and 1952, during the Korean War, Dick got his first look at Griffith Stadium during three games in 1955 with no decisions. He spent the rest of the season with the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern Association with an 8-6 record and a 2.32 ERA.

Hyde was back with Chattanooga in 1956 and had his best year to date, going 15-6 with a 3.98 ERA in 102 innings. This put Dick back with the Senators in 1957, where he went 4-3 in 50 relief appearances and also made his only two big league starts. Dick's career year came in 1958 when he completely baffled American League hitters with his near underarm delivery as he was the league's premier reliever, going 10-3 with 18 saves in 53 games with his 1.75 ERA, the best by a Washington pitcher since Walter Johnson in 1919.

Hyde recalled, "1958 was a big year for me overall. I got married that year. The Senators had me up throwing in the bullpen almost every day. My arm was never the same after that year and I was just hanging on the next couple of years before retiring." Hyde would win only two games for the Senators in 1959 and went 0-1 in 1960. On July 2, 1960, Dick was purchased by the Baltimore Orioles from the Senators. He last pitched for the Orioles in 1961, finishing his six-year major league career at 17-14 with a 3.56 ERA plus 23 saves in 169 games overall. Dick went to the minors in 1962, making six appearances with no decisions for the Rochester Red Wings and called it a career at age 33 with ten years in the minors to his credit that showed a 53-59 record with a 4.06 ERA in 295 appearances.

At last report Dick divides his time between homes in Champaign, IL, and Tucson, AZ, after suffering a heart attack and retiring in the mid-1980s. Hyde got his stockbroker's license after he left baseball and worked in that area for a while. Later he managed a gas station before going to work for the Illinois Power Company. He retired after the heart attack.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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