Sunday, January 17, 2010

1976 Topps #326 - Dick Pole

  • Dick Pole was a major league pitcher from 1973-1978. He was signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1969. He spent several years in the minors and was called up in 1973 after going 12-9 with a 2.03 ERA in 23 starts for AAA Pawtucket. Pole went 3-2 with a 5.60 ERA in 12 games (7 starts) for the Red Sox in 1973.
  • In 1974 Dick went back and forth between Pawtucket and Boston. He was 1-1 with one save and a 4.20 ERA in 15 games (2 starts) for Boston. Pole stayed up with the Red Sox in 1975 and went 4-6 with a 4.42 ERA in 18 games (11 starts). Dick was hit by a Tony Muser line drive on June 30 and sustained a broken jaw and damage to the retina of his right eye. Pole eventually lost 90% of the vision in his right eye. He wasn't used in the 1975 ALCS. Dick pitched to two batters in game 5 of the World Series and walked both of them. One of them scored, so he ended up allowing one run in zero innings pitched (infinite ERA).
  • Pole was a swingman in 1976. He appeared in 31 games, 15 of them starts. Dick was 6-5 with a 4.33 ERA in '76. After the season Pole was selected by the Seattle Mariners in the expansion draft.
  • In 1977 Pole was 7-12 with a 5.15 ERA in 25 games (24 starts) for the Mariners. Dick was 4-11 with a 6.48 ERA in 21 games (18 starts) for the Mariners in 1978. He pitched in his last major league game on July 18, 1978. After that he was sent to AAA San Jose. Dick was released by the Mariners during spring training in 1979. He pitched in the minors in the Pittsburgh and Detroit organizations from 1979-1981 and also played in Mexico for a while.
  • Pole became a pitching coach after his playing career. He worked in the Chicago Cubs system from 1983-1988 and then coached on Don Zimmer's coaching staff in Chicago from 1989-1991. Greg Maddux has said that Dick had a big influence on him by suggesting that he not try to strike everyone out all the time.
  • Dick coached with the AAA Pawtucket Red Sox in 1992 and then coached with the San Francisco Giants from 1993-1997. He coached with various other teams from 1998-2005, then joined the coaching staff of the Cincinnati Reds after the 2006 season. He was relieved of his duties as Reds pitching coach after the 2009 season.
  • Liked to face: Dan Meyer (.000 in 12 AB); Darrell Porter (.125 in 16 AB); Aurelio Rodriguez (.123 in 21 AB)
  • Hated to face: Rod Carew (.583 in 12 AB); Don Money (.556 in 18 AB); Don Baylor (.370 in 27 AB)


  1. I know Dick Pole's sister-in-law. Or cousin-in-law. Or something. In any event, in 2004 she was able to get me a signed ball by the Cubs rotation at the time as Pole was the pitching coach.

    The ball was signed by Greg Maddux, Carlos Zambrano, Matt Clement and two guys I was really excited about, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood.

    Things just didn't turn out as planned, I guess.