Friday, October 10, 2014

MISSING IN ACTION- 1974 DICK DIETZ

One of the more underrated offensive seasons for a catcher during the 1970's was put in by Giants catcher Dick Dietz in 1970, when he hit 22 homers, 107 runs batted in, 36 doubles and 109 walks, to go along with an excellent slash line of .300/.426/.515.
Granted, when you have a season like this at the same time some young stud named Johnny Bench is destroying opposing pitching, you can see how it happens that your season goes somewhat unappreciated.
I'm not sure if it still applies, but for years Dietz' 1970 was the only season in Major League history of a catcher hitting .300 with 100 runs batted in and 100 walks.
But Dietz had one of those "career years", as he was never able to repeat the performance.
As a mater of fact, by the time the 1974 season opened, he was already out of Major League ball for good.
However in my mind he did put in enough time in 1973 with the Atlanta Braves to warrant a card in the 1974 Topps set, so let me present my "missing" 1974 Dietz card:


Though Dietz carved out an eight-year career playing for the Giants, Dodgers and Braves between 1966 and 1973, he only had two seasons of full playing time, 1970 and 1971.
In his final season, 1973, he appeared in 83 games for Atlanta, with 191 plate appearances, splitting time between first base and catcher.
He hit  a very respectable .295 with three homers and 24 runs batted in, and a VERY respectable 49 walks, which gave him a fantastic .474 OBP.
As a matter of fact, he retired from the game with a nice .390 career OBP, along with a .261 batting average.

4 comments:

  1. Nice card. I didn't realize he ended up with the Braves. I think maybe Johnny Oates was the starter during that time. Interesting that he probably could have made a good DH but it was so new maybe he didn't want to give it a go.

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  2. You did it again. This is awesome!! I always wondered why Dick Dietz, who had decent playing time that year, does not get a card but Jim Campanis gets one. How about it Tony!?

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  3. Curious decisions as always JC.

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  4. Always wondered why his career came to sudden halt after the 1971 season. He inexplicably ended up with the Dodgers and then the Braves; then out completely.

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