Bruce Dal Canton

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John Bruce Dal Canton

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Biographical Information[edit]

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."

Coaching Career[edit]

Related Sites[edit]