Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#718 Del Rice

An organizational guy promoted to skipper…Took over the reins with the Angels after the tumultuous 1971 season as part of a house cleaning… Del had a long establish bond with his employing club…In 1961, He finished his career with expansion Halos wrapping up his 17 year career as a catcher …played as a starter with St. Louis Cardinals and then the Milwaukee Braves in back up role eventually being released at the end of 1959….Had an odd year in 1960 playing for three teams, starting with the Chicago Cubs but only appearing in one game for both  Baltimore and the Cardinals…MLB career included .237 avg., 79 HRS, 441 RBI… After his Angels playing days were over, began four year service as a Halo’s Coach (plus a one year stint in Cleveland in 1967)….Started 1972 with strong albeit short, minor league managerial pedigree, establishing winning records in San Jose, El Paso, and Salt Lake City over the course of four seasons….1970 El Paso was interesting because of duties outside manager…had 3 official  at bats, two hits, one RBI, pitched in 2 games, over 3 innings gave up  no runs, and won a game….Was SN Minor League Manager of the year for his stint at SLC….His single season with Angels did not yield a significant improvement from the previous year although they may have more harmonious group…Highlight of 1972 was the emergence of Nolan Ryan on his way to being the all time strikeout  and no hitter leader….was replaced by Bobby Winkles and did not manage again…Passed away in 1983.

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