Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dick Radatz (#174)

Last month I was about to post Dick Radatz' card on my 1968 card blog, when I realized (43 years late) that he didn't have a card in the 1968 set.

Dick Radatz (nicknamed "The Monster") was signed by the Red Sox in 1959. He spent 3 seasons in Boston's farm system. For a year and a half he was a starter for Class-B teams, then spent his remaining season and a half as a reliever in triple-A. Dick made his major-league debut in April 1962. In 381 games over 7 seasons, not once did Radatz start a game in the major leagues.

Dick was Boston's go-to guy in the bullpen for his 1st 4 seasons. He led the American League in games pitched (62) and saves (24) as a rookie in 1962, and finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting. He also led the league with 29 saves in 1964. Radatz also made the all-star team in '63 and '64.

On June 2, 1966, the 29-year-old Radatz was traded to the Indians for 36-year-old closer Don McMahon and pitcher Lee Stange. Although he led the Indians with 10 saves in 1966, Dick did not pitch as much as he had in any of his seasons in Boston.

The Indians traded Radatz to the Cubs in late-April 1967, and as the last man in the bullpen, appeared in only 20 games for the rest of the season. Released by the Cubs in March 1968, Dick was picked up by the Tigers a month later, but spent the entire 1968 season with their triple-A team in Toledo Ohio (hence no card in the 1968 set).

He began the 1969 season with the Tigers, but was sold to the Expos in June. His last appearance was on August 15, 1969. Two weeks later, the Expos released him, ending his career. Dick's final card is in the 1969 set.

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