Friday, August 21, 2009

Some TTM Successes

Dave Duncan 1975-76

Dave is probably best known for the good job he has done as the pitching coach on Tony LaRussa's A's & Cardinals teams over the past 20 years. He has coached four Cy Young award winners and is highly respected throughout MLB as an excellent teacher. This is even more impressive since Dave was a catcher in his playing days, and is one of few pitching coaches who did not pitch professionally.

He split time with Elrod Hendricks & Rick Dempsey as catcher on the '75-76 Orioles teams and was known primarily as a defensive catcher even though he hit 109 HRs over 11 big league seasons. The Indians traded Dave to the O's in February 1975 for Boog Powell and Don Hood, so for those of you who recall Boog's brief time as an Indian, it was because of Dave. The O's flipped Dave to the White Sox for Pat Kelly following the '76 season.

His career highlights include making the 1971 AL All-Star team and winning 3 World Series titles; one as a player on the '72 A's and two as a coach, '89 A's & '05 Cardinals. His two sons, Chris and Shelley have each played in the Major Leagues too.

Lenny Green 1957-59, 64

Lenny manned all three OF positions for the O's in the late '50s and was briefly back in the organization in 1964.

If you notice the top of the Orioles Crown card on the right, he made an attempt to personalize the card but it looks like his pen wasn't cooperating.

Stu "Bullet" Miller 1963-67

Stu began his career as a starting pitcher with the Cardinals in 1952 but was exclusively a reliever by the time he threw his first pitch on the Orioles in 1963. He is one of the more successful O's relievers of all time; he saved 100 games and had a 2.37 ERA in 297 games with the Birds.

While most players earned the nickname "Bullet" by throwing very hard or fast, Stu got the nickname for the opposite reason. It's reported that his fastball topped out in the mid 80s and his changeup was in the mid-upper 70s but he thrived by using the same arm action on both to fool opposing hitters.

He received MVP votes 4 times throughout his career, 3 of those times with the Orioles, highlighted by his 7th place finish in 1965. He combined with Steve Barber to throw a no-hitter on April 30, 1967 but the O's lost the game on a wild pitch and an error. Stu also made the 1961 All-Star team.

Unfortunately, Stu is probably best remembered as being the pitcher to give up Mickey Mantle's 500th HR. If you want to read more about that and Stu's life in general, the Baltimore Sun recently ran an interview with him.

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