Saturday, July 25, 2009

1976 Topps # 154 - Bucky Dent

  • Bucky "Bleeping" Dent was a shortstop in the AL from 1973-1984. He is best known for hitting an improbable home run in the AL East playoff game in 1978 which put the Yankees ahead 3-2 in a game the Yanks would eventually win 5-4.

(the home run is at 2:11 of the video clip below)

  • Bucky started in the Chicago White Sox' system in 1970 and progressed through the system from 1970-1973. He batted .296 for AA Knoxville in 1972 and .295 for AAA Iowa in 1973. Dent made his major league debut at the age of 21 on June 1, 1973 and batted .248 in 40 games.
  • Dent played in 154 games in 1974 and batted .275. He was second in AL Rookie of the Year voting (Mike Hargrove won it). In 1975 Dent was selected to his first of three AL All Star teams and batted .264 in 157 games.
  • After batting .246 in 158 games in 1976, Bucky was traded to the New York Yankees for Bob Polinsky (minors), Oscar Gamble, La Marr Hoyt and $200,000. Although Dent didn't hit much, he stopped the revolving door that the Yankees had at shortstop for the previous few years.
  • Bucky usually hit in the .240s, but he fielded his position well and was selected to two more AL All Star teams (1980 and 1981) during his tenure with the Yankees. Bucky batted .417 and was named the World Series MVP in 1978.
  • In 1982 Bucky struggled. He started the season batting .169 in 59 games for the Yankees. He was then traded to the Texas Rangers for Lee Mazilli on August 8. Dent batted .219 in 46 games but still finished the 1982 season below the Mendoza line at .193.
  • Dent batted .237 in 131 games in 1983. He was even used as a DH for one game (gasp!). Bucky was released at the end of spring training in 1984. The Yankees picked him up in June and sent him to AAA Columbus. After playing for Columbus for a month Bucky was released by the Yankees on July 9. He signed with the Kansas City Royals on August 16 and batted nine times. He was released by the Royals after the season and retired.
  • After his playing career Dent managed in the Yankees' farm system from 1985-1989. He finished the 1989 season as manager of the Yankees (18-22) and started the 1990 season as Yankee manager. He wasn't successful in 1990 (18-31) and was replaced by Stump Merrell on June 6.
  • Dent returned to managing in 2002. He managed AAA Omaha in 2002 and AAA Columbus from 2003-2005. Bucky became the Cincinnati Reds' bench coach in 2005 and was let go in 2007. He is now working at his baseball school full time.
  • Here is a Sports Illustrated "Where Are They Now" article from 2008.
  • Here is a little article in the New York Times from April 2009.

1 comment:

  1. When Bucky came up to bat with the White Sox, a buddy and I, showing our maturity at the time would yell "Hey F%#ky Dent"