Monday, October 26, 2009

1976 Topps #248 - Dick Tidrow

  • Dick Tidrow pitched for five teams in his career, but I remember him most for his stint with the New York Yankees. He had a great nickname ("Dirt") and he excelled as a setup man and middle reliever.
  • Tidrow was drafted by three different teams (Senators, Giants, Reds) in 1965 and 1966 but didn't sign with any of them. He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1967 and he finally signed with them. Dick spent the next five seasons in the minor leagues. He made the Indians in 1972 and was 14-15 with a 2.77 ERA in 34 starts. He was named the Sporting News Rookie Pitcher of the Year. It's surprising that a season like that didn't get him at least some Rookie of the Year consideration. Carlton Fisk was the unanimous choice for the award that year.
  • In 1973 Dick started 40 games and was 14-16. His ERA went up to 4.42 that year. Tidrow started the 1974 season with the Indians. After making four starts he was traded to the New York Yankees along with Chris Chambliss. This trade netted the Yankees two important pieces of their 1977 and 1978 World Championship teams. Altogether Tidrow was 12-12 with a 4.16 ERA for the two teams.
  • The Yankees made Tidrow a reliever in 1975. He made 37 appearances and was 6-3 with five saves and a 3.12 ERA in 69 innings. He didn't pitch after August 16. Dick made 47 appearances (2 starts) in 1976 and was 4-5 with 10 saves and an ERA of 2.63. He was the winning pitcher in the decisive game 5 of the American League Championship Series, but he was knocked around by the Cincinnati Reds in the 1976 World Series.
  • In 1977 Dick was 11-4 with five saves and a 3.16 ERA in 49 games (7 starts). He pitched 151 innings that season. He appeared in two games in the ALCS and two games in the World Series but didn't figure in any decisions. Tidrow was used more as a starter in 1978 (25 starts out of 32 total appearances). He was 7-11 with a 3.84 ERA. He made two appearances in the ALCS and one appearances in the World Series.
  • Dick started slowly in 1979. He appeared in 14 games for the Yankees and was 2-1 with a 7.94 ERA. On May 23 he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for Ray Burris. Tidrow righted the ship when he got to Chicago. He appeared in 63 games for the Cubs and was 11-5 with a 2.72 ERA. In 1980 Tidrow led the NL with 84 appearances. He was 6-5 with six saves and an ERA of 2.79.
  • Tidrow fell off badly in 1981. He made 51 appearances and had nine saves, but he fell to a 3-10 record with a 5.06 ERA. He bounced back in 1982 with an 8-3 record and an ERA of 3.39. After the season Dick was dealt to the Chicago White Sox in a multi-player trade that brought Steve Trout to the Cubs.
  • Dick made 50 appearances with one start for the White Sox in 1983. He was 2-4 with a 4.22 ERA and seven saves. He made one appearance in the ALCS and allowed one run in three innings. The White Sox released Tidrow after the season. He caught on with the New York Mets, but they released him on May 8, 1984 after he appeared in 11 games and had a 9.19 ERA.
  • Liked to face: Larry Hisle (.182 in 44 AB); Toby Harrah (.211 in 38 AB); Bobby Grich (.227 in 48 AB); Sal Bando (.227 in 48 AB)
  • Hated to face: George Scott (.420 in 50 AB with 4 HR); Don Money (.333 in 48 AB); Jim Northrup (.395 in 38 AB); Carl Yastrzemski (.333 in 36 AB with 5 HR)

1 comment:

  1. Dirt was great! When he came to the Cubs, Tidrow was used as the setup man for Bruce Sutter. It was one of the first times a team did that and saved Sutter from over-use. The Cubs traded Sutter after the 1980 season and put Tidrow into the closer role, which was not his thing.