Richard Elliott Dotson (born January 10, 1959) is a former right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball in the 1980s. He is best noted for his 22-7 performance of 1983, helping the Chicago White Sox win the American League West Division championship that season. Dotson finished fourth in the American League Cy Young Award voting, behind teammate LaMarr Hoyt. Arm injuries came to limit, however, what was a promising baseball career.
|Born: January 10, 1959|
|September 4, 1979, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 5, 1990, for the Kansas City Royals|
|Earned run average||4.23|
|Career highlights and awards|
In a 12-season career, Rich Dotson recorded a record of 111-113 with a 4.23 ERA in 305 games, 295 of them starts. He pitched 55 complete games and 11 shutouts in his career. Dotson gave up 872 earned runs and struck out 973 in 1857 and 1⁄3 innings pitched.
Dotson was born in Cincinnati and attended Anderson High School. Dotson's biological father was Turk Farrell who played 14 MLB seasons. He was drafted out of high school by the California Angels in the summer of 1977, but was traded along with Bobby Bonds and Thad Bosley to the White Sox for Brian Downing, Chris Knapp and Dave Frost on December 5, 1977.
His debut in the majors was not an auspicious one. White Sox manager Tony La Russa handed him the ball on September 4, 1979 as the starter for a game at Anaheim, but the 20-year-old Dotson retired only four Angels and left the park that day with a gaudy earned-run average of 33.75.
By the next season, Dotson was a 12-game winner in the Chicago rotation. In 1981, he led the American League in shutouts with four. But his breakout season definitely was 1983. Dotson's 22 wins were the second-most in the league, and included 14 complete games. He also led the American League with 106 walks and finished fourth in AL Cy Young Award voting. On the final day of the regular season, he and Dennis Lamp combined for a shutout at Seattle that put the White Sox in first place by a whopping 20 games over the nearest contender.
The closest Dotson ever came to pitching a no-hitter was in a 1–0 loss to the Baltimore Orioles at Memorial Stadium on May 18, 1983. The Orioles' lone hit and the only run of the game was Dan Ford's one-out opposite-field solo homer over the right-field fence in the eighth inning. He was also the losing pitcher in his only postseason appearance, an 11–1 defeat to the Orioles in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series at Comiskey Park five months later on October 7. Eddie Murray's one-out three-run homer into the right-field upper deck off Dotson in the first inning was the deciding blow.
Although his career never again reached those heights, Dotson did go 12-9 in the New York Yankees' rotation in 1988. The team was in first place for much of the season's first half, including in late July, before fading. Dotson had a strong finish, combining with two relievers on September 29 for a seven-hitter at Baltimore in his final start of the season.
- Pietrusza, David, ed. (2000). Baseball : the biographical encyclopedia. Kingston, New York [u.a.]: Total/Sports Illustrated. ISBN 1-892129-34-5.
- "Richard Dotson Player Page". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 November 2011.
- Stark, Jayson (September 11, 2020). "'There might be a family secret': Richard Dotson's real-life fable". The Athletic. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
- Durso, Joseph. "Angels' Bonds Is Acquired By White Sox," The New York Times, Tuesday, December 6, 1977. Retrieved June 6, 2020
- Boswell, Thomas. "Ford's Homer Ruins Dotson's No-Hit Bid," The Washington Post, Thursday, May 19, 1983. Retrieved June 6, 2020
- Boswell, Thomas. "11–1 Win Puts Series One Away For Orioles," The Washington Post, Saturday, October 8, 1983. Retrieved June 6, 2020
- "Coaching Staff | Chicago White Sox". M.mlb.com. Retrieved 2020-04-15.