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Richard Dale Long (February 6, 1926 – January 27, 1991) was an American first baseman in Major League Baseball with the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Browns, Chicago Cubs, San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and the Washington Senators between 1951 and 1963. He batted and threw left-handed.

Dale Long
Dale Long 1961.jpg
Long in 1961
First baseman
Born: (1926-02-06)February 6, 1926
Springfield, Missouri
Died: January 27, 1991(1991-01-27) (aged 64)
Palm Coast, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 21, 1951, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
July 18, 1963, for the New York Yankees
MLB statistics
Batting average.267
Home runs132
Runs batted in467
Teams
Career highlights and awards

A native of Springfield, Missouri, Long turned down an offer from the Green Bay Packers to play football, opting instead to play baseball.

CareerEdit

Long spent six seasons in the minor leagues, playing for five different organizations before he debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1951, ending that season with the St. Louis Browns. After three and one-half additional seasons in the minors, Pittsburgh gave Long another chance. He hit .291 with 79 RBIs, while collecting double-figure totals in extra-base hits with 19 doubles, 13 triples, and 16 home runs. In fact, Long led the major leagues in triples (13) in that 1955 season.

 
Long, circa 1956

In 1956, Long posted career highs in home runs (27) and RBI (91), made the National League All-Star team, and put his name in the record books by hitting eight home runs in eight consecutive games between May 19 and May 28, breaking the previous mark of six straight games, shared by Ken Williams (1922), George Kelly (1924), Lou Gehrig (1931), Walker Cooper (1947) and Willie Mays (1955).[1][2] Since then, the mark has been matched only by Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (1993), both in the American League.

Traded to the Chicago Cubs in May 1957, Long belted 55 homers for them in two and a half seasons. In 1958 he became the first left-handed-throwing catcher since Jiggs Donahue in 1902.[3] Long performed this feat in a pair of Cubs losses at Wrigley Field, during the first game of a doubleheader versus the Pirates on August 20 and on September 21 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In both cases, he had been shifted from first base in the ninth inning.[4][5] In 1959 he tied another home run record, when he hit back-to-back pinch-hit homers.

In 1960 Long divided his playing time between the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. As a member of the Yankees, he faced his former Pirates team in the 1960 World Series.

Long played for the Washington Senators during 1961 and 1962, but was also on the Yankees team that won the 1962 World Series over the Giants. He finished his playing career in 1963. Following his retirement, Long served as a Yankee coach and later as an umpire in minor league baseball.

In a 10-season MLB career, Long was a .267 hitter with 805 hits, 132 home runs and 467 RBI in 1,013 games.

Dale Long died in Palm Coast, Florida after long battle with cancer at age 64.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ United Press. "Pirates Trip Phils, 8-5, as Long Hits Homer in 6th Came in Row: His Four-Bagger Ties Major League Record Shared by Five Other Players". The New York Times. May 26, 1956. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  2. ^ Associated Press. "Consecutive game home run streaks". ESPN. April 21, 2004. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  3. ^ "Top 10 Left-Handed Catchers for 2006 - The Hardball Times". www.hardballtimes.com.
  4. ^ Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Chicago Cubs 2 (first game of doubleheader); Wednesday, August 20, 1958 at Wrigley Field (box score) Retrosheet
  5. ^ Los Angeles Dodgers 2, Chicago Cubs 1; Sunday, September 21, 1958 at Wrigley Field (box score) Retrosheet

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit