Bruce Dal Canton
John Bruce Dal Canton
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 205 lb.
- School California State College
- High School California Area High School
- Debut September 3, 1967
- Final Game May 27, 1977
- Born June 15, 1941 in California, PA USA
- Died October 7, 2008 in Mount Lebanon, PA USA
Bruce Dal Canton had an unusual career in baseball. He had been working as a science teacher at Burgettstown High School and playing in a southwestern Pennsylvania amateur league when he was discovered by Pittsburgh Pirates scout Rex Bowen. The team signed him in 1966 and he debuted in the majors the next year.
In 11 seasons in the majors, Bruce was 51-49 in 316 games on the mound. After his mid-season release by the Chicago White Sox in 1978, he began coaching in the Sox minor league system until 1981. He coached in the Atlanta Braves system from 1982-2008, including four seasons as a major league coach (from 1987 to 1990. During his coaching tenure, both John Smoltz and Tom Glavine turned from sub-par pitchers to stars.
Dal Canton was the pitching coach for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans from their inception in 1999 until May 16, 2008, when he left the club due to a mass that eventually turned out to be cancer in his esophagus. He was replaced by Braves' roving pitching instructor Mike Alvarez for the rest of the season.
He died of esophageal cancer in October of 2008. Some sources list his place of death as Pittsburgh, PA, but obituaries at the time clearly indicated that he was at hospitalized in nearby Mount Lebanon, PA when he passed away. The following season, his alma mater, California University of Pennsylvania, initiated a "Bruce Dal Canton Pitching Award" to be given to the Vulcans pitcher who best "exemplifies greatness of character."
- 1982 Roving minor league pitching instructor Atlanta Braves
- 1983 Pitching coach Savannah Braves
- 1984 Pitching coach Greenville Braves
- 1985-1986 Pitching coach Richmond Braves
- 1987-1990 Pitching coach Atlanta Braves
- 1991-1993 Pitching coach Richmond Braves
- 1994-1997 Pitching coach Greenville Braves
- 1998 Pitching coach Danville 97s
- 1999-2008 Pitching coach Myrtle Beach Pelicans