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Don Stanhouse

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1991 Crown Orioles #432 Don Stanhouse

Donald Joseph Stanhouse

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[edit] Biographical Information

Don Stanhouse's nickname was Full Pack. This nickname was given to Stanhouse by his manager with the Baltimore Orioles, Earl Weaver, who claimed he went through a full pack of cigarettes while the reliever pitched. Another memorable quote of Weaver's was, "He doesn't suffer from stress. He's a carrier." Stanhouse got hitters out, but was notorious for throwing a lot of pitches to each batter. Even in his best seasons, 1978 and 1979, he walked 6.3 batters per 9 innings pitched.

His other nickname is probably better remembered. A play upon Stan "the Man" Musial, Stanhouse was Stan "the Man Unusual". With the Baltimore Orioles, he had the knack for pitching in and out of trouble, and was known as a free spirit and an aficionado of practical jokes off the field. He was converted to closer by manager Dick Williams in the second half of the 1977 season with the Montreal Expos. He did quite well, saving 10 games, and was a key player in a multi-player trade with the Orioles after the season. He saved 24 games for the Orioles in 1978 and 21 in 1979 when the Birds reached the World Series. Both totals were good for third in the American League. He was roughed up by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Series, however, giving up 6 hits and 3 walks in only two innings of work, and being charged with the loss in Game 2.

In his brief tenure with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which he joined after signing a big free agent contract in 1980, he simply had the knack for pitching into trouble. His line with the Dodgers was 2-2, 21 games, 7 saves, 25 innings, 5.04 ERA. He came back to the Orioles for one more season in 1982, playing alongside another former Oriole whose pitching skills had apparently vanished, Ross Grimsley. The two friends were used in mop-up relief that year, with Stanhouse going 0-1, 5.40, in 17 games.

Stanhouse pitched in 12 games his first pro year, but also was an infielder for the Tri-City A's in 1969. From his days as an infielder, he retained some hitting ability. In three seasons with the Montreal Expos, he went 21 for 102, for a respectable .206 average; he is one of only two pitchers in team history - the other is Scott Sanderson - to hit a grand slam, achieving the feat on July 6, 1977 against the Cubs' Bill Bonham. However, there was little use for his batting skills after he became a closer and was traded to the American League.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL All-Star (1979)

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