Rick Dempsey

John Rikard Dempsey (born September 13, 1949) is an American former professional baseball player.[1] He played for 24 seasons as a catcher in Major League Baseball from 1969 to 1992, most notably for the Baltimore Orioles.[1] Dempsey was known for being one of the best defensive catchers of his era.[2]

Rick Dempsey
Rick Dempsey 2
Born: September 13, 1949 (age 69)
Fayetteville, Tennessee
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 23, 1969, for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
September 27, 1992, for the Baltimore Orioles
MLB statistics
Batting average.233
Home runs96
Runs batted in471
Career highlights and awards

Major League career

Dempsey was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 15th round of the 1967 Major League Baseball draft out of Crespi Carmelite High School.[3] After two seasons in the minor leagues, he made his major league debut late in the 1969 season for the division winning Twins managed by Billy Martin, however he didn't qualify for the post-season roster.[1] Dempsey spent a few more seasons shuttling between the Twins and their minor league teams, before being traded to the New York Yankees for Danny Walton on October 31, 1972.[4] During his tenure with the Yankees, he served as a reserve catcher to Thurman Munson, and received tutoring from Yankees coach and former catching standout, Jim Hegan.[2] After three and a half seasons with the Yankees, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in June 1976, where manager Earl Weaver made him the Orioles' starting catcher.

For the next ten and a half seasons, Dempsey would remain as the Orioles' starting catcher.[5] He became known for his exceptional ability to handle pitching staffs, his strong throwing arm, and for his agility behind home plate.[2] In 1979, the Orioles defeated the California Angels in the 1979 American League Championship Series to reach the World Series.[6] In the 1979 World Series, the Orioles won three of the first four games against the Pittsburgh Pirates and seemed to be on the verge of winning the championship, when the Pirates, led by Willie Stargell, rebounded to win the final three games.[7] It was one of Dempsey's greatest disappointments of his playing career.[8]

The highlight of his career came in 1983, when the Orioles won the American League Eastern Division pennant, then defeated the Chicago White Sox in the 1983 American League Championship Series, before winning the 1983 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.[9][10] Dempsey posted a .385 batting average along with a .923 slugging percentage in the five-game series, and won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award, one of six catchers to have won the award.[5][11][12][13]

In 1987, Dempsey became a free agent and signed a contract to play for the Cleveland Indians.[14] After only one season with the Indians, he became a free agent once again and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he would be a member of another World Series-winning team in 1988, this time as a back up catcher to Mike Scioscia.[1] While playing for the Dodgers in 1990, he became involved in a brawl with Phillies' center fielder Lenny Dykstra, who took exception to Dempsey's fraternization with the home plate umpire.[15] After three seasons with the Dodgers, he played one season with the Milwaukee Brewers, before returning to the Baltimore Orioles for his final season in 1992.[14]

His sense of humor during his playing career was renowned, and he was famous for his "rain delay theatre" performances, in which he emerged from the dugout in stockinged feet onto the tarpaulin covering the infield during a rain delay and pantomimed hitting an inside-the-park home run, climaxed by his sliding into home plate on his belly on the wet tarp, all to the raucous delight of the soggy fans.[5] He sometimes did this while wearing a pair of underpants over his uniform, making fun of teammate Jim Palmer's famous advertisements for Jockey brand briefs.

Career statistics

In a 24-year career, Dempsey played in 1,765 games, accumulating 1,093 hits in 4,692 at bats for a .233 career batting average along with 96 home runs and 471 runs batted in.[1] He ended his career with a .988 fielding percentage.[1] Dempsey led American League catchers twice in fielding percentage, twice in baserunners caught stealing and once in assists.[1] He played more games as a catcher than any other player in Orioles history (1230).[16] During his career, Dempsey caught ten different twenty game winning pitchers.[5] He was a durable player, only going on the disabled list twice in his career.[17]

While he was a light-hitting player, Dempsey's lengthy major league career was due in part to his excellent defensive skills.[2] He usually did not make a large contribution offensively. During his season with the Brewers, Dempsey made two relief pitching appearances, giving up three hits and one run in two innings pitched.[18] Dempsey also won a Little League World Series in 1963 with the team from Canoga Park-Woodland Hills, California.[17] He is the uncle of former major league catcher Gregg Zaun.[1] Dempsey is one of only 29 players to play in four different calendar decades.

Coaching and broadcasting career

After his playing career ended, Dempsey became a minor league manager in the Los Angeles Dodgers organisation, winning the 1994 Pacific Coast League championship with the Triple-A Albuquerque Dukes.[19] He then joined the New York Mets organisation, managing the Norfolk Tides in 1997 and 1998. Dempsey also served as first base coach for the Orioles for several seasons, first as a third base coach in the 2005 season after bench coach Sam Perlozzo was promoted to interim manager. He assumed the bullpen coach position in the 2006 season, replacing Elrod Hendricks who the team intended to reassign to another position in the organization before his death. Later in 2006, he became the first base coach again when the team reassigned Dave Cash.

Dempsey has been a candidate for managerial openings with the Orioles in the past, as recently as 2003 when the Orioles interviewed him for the spot that eventually went to Lee Mazzilli. He was mentioned again as a possible candidate for the Baltimore manager's job in 2010, after the firing of Dave Trembley.

Dempsey also served as an Oriole color commentator in 2000 and began another stint in 2007, as the studio analyst for O's Xtra on MASN, the cable channel that carries Orioles games. In addition, he serves as a game analyst for occasional games on MASN. In 1985, Dick Enberg was in Toronto for Games 1 and 7 of the 1985 ALCS on NBC. Enberg hosted the pregame show alongside Dempsey (who was still active with Baltimore at the time). In 1995, Dempsey worked as a field reporter for ABC's coverage of the All-Star Game from Texas.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Rick Dempsey at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ a b c d "For Catchers, The Name of the Game is Defense", by George Vass, Baseball Digest, May 2005, Vol. 64, No. 3, ISSN 0005-609X
  3. ^ 1967 Draft Results at The Baseball Cube
  4. ^ "Twins Obtain Danny Walton" The Milwaukee Journal, Tuesday, October 31, 1972
  5. ^ a b c d "Rick Dempsey Looks Back on his 24 Seasons as a Big League Catcher", by Ed Lucas and Paul Post, Baseball Digest May 2006, Vol. 65, No. 3, ISSN 0005-609X
  6. ^ 1979 American League Championship Series at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ 1979 World Series at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ "The Game I'll Never Forget", by Rick Dempsey, Baseball Digest, November 1987, Vol. 46, No. 11, ISSN 0005-609X
  9. ^ 1983 American League Championship Series at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ 1983 World Series at Baseball Reference
  11. ^ Rick Dempsey post-season batting statistics at Baseball Reference
  12. ^ Post-season Awards at Baseball Reference
  13. ^ Fimrite, Ron (October 24, 1983). "He Was Moe Than Philly Could Handle". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 12 May 2010.
  14. ^ a b Rick Dempsey Trades and Transactions at Baseball Almanac
  15. ^ "Dempsey Disciplined". The Day. Associated Press. 22 August 1990. p. 4. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  16. ^ Most Games Caught For Team at The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers
  17. ^ a b "Rick Dempsey: His Career Survives Fires of Combat", by Wayne Coffey, Baseball Digest, February 1998, Vol. 57, No. 2, ISSN 0005-609X
  18. ^ Rick Dempsey Pitching statistics at Baseball Reference
  19. ^ Rick Dempsey minor league manager record at Baseball Reference

External links

1967 Major League Baseball draft

The Major League Baseball draft (or "first-year player draft") recruits amateur baseball players into the American Major League Baseball league. The players selected in 1967 included many talented prospects who later had careers in the professional league. Some selections included Bobby Grich and Don Baylor (Baltimore), Vida Blue (Kansas City Athletics), Dusty Baker and Ralph Garr (Atlanta), Ken Singleton and Jon Matlack (Mets), and Ted Simmons and Jerry Reuss (St. Louis). In the January draft, Boston selected catcher Carlton Fisk and the New York Mets drafted Ken Singleton. The Cincinnati Reds selected Chris Chambliss in the 31st round only to have him enroll in junior college. The Mets chose Dan Pastorini in the 32nd round, but Pastorini chose football and played several seasons in the NFL. Atlanta also chose Archie Manning in the 43rd round.

1975 New York Yankees season

The 1975 New York Yankees season was the 73rd season for the Yankees in New York, and the franchise's 75th season overall. The team finished with a record of 83–77, finishing 12 games behind the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees played at Shea Stadium due to the ongoing renovation of Yankee Stadium, which would re-open in 1976.

Bill Virdon opened the season as Yankees manager, but he was replaced on August 1 by Billy Martin. This would be the first of five stints as Yankees manager for Martin.

1976 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1976 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing second in the American League East with a record of 88 wins and 74 losses.

1977 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1977 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing second in the American League East with a record of 97 wins and 64 losses.

1978 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1978 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing fourth in the American League East with a record of 90 wins and 71 losses.

1979 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1979 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. The Orioles finished first in the American League East division of Major League Baseball with a record of 102 wins and 57 losses. They went on to defeat the California Angels in the 1979 American League Championship Series, 3 games to 1, before losing in the 1979 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4 games to 3.

1982 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1982 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 2nd in the American League East with a record of 94 wins and 68 losses. For the second consecutive season, the Orioles recorded the most grand slams in MLB, hitting eight in 1982.

1983 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1983 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 1st in the American League East with a record of 98 wins and 64 losses. The season culminated with the winning of the 1983 World Series over the Philadelphia Phillies.

1983 Major League Baseball season

The 1983 Major League Baseball season ended with the Baltimore Orioles defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth game of the World Series. Rick Dempsey was named MVP of the Series. The All-Star Game was held on July 6 at Comiskey Park; the American League won by a score of 13–3, with California Angels outfielder Fred Lynn being named MVP.

1983 World Series

The 1983 World Series matched the American League champion Baltimore Orioles against the National League champion Philadelphia Phillies, with the Orioles winning four games to one. "The I-95 Series", like the World Series two years later, also took its nickname from the interstate that the teams and fans traveled on, Interstate 95 in this case. This was the last World Series that Bowie Kuhn presided over as commissioner.

This is Baltimore's most recent World Series title, and also their most recent American League pennant.

This was the first World Series since 1956 in which the teams did not use air travel. Baltimore and Philadelphia are approximately 100 miles apart.

1985 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1985 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 4th in the American League East with a record of 83 wins and 78 losses.

1986 Baltimore Orioles season

The 1986 Baltimore Orioles season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Orioles finishing 7th in the American League East with a record of 73 wins and 89 losses. On August 5th, the Orioles were in second place with a record of 59-47, just 2.5 games out of first place, but the Orioles would lose 42 of their final 56 games to finish in last place in the AL East.

2006 Baltimore Orioles season

The 2006 Baltimore Orioles season involved the Orioles finishing 4th in the American League East with a record of 70 wins and 92 losses.

Amber Theoharis

Amber Theoharis (born September 13, 1978) is a co-host for NFL Network on NFL Total Access.Theoharis is a 1996 graduate of Middletown High School (Maryland) and of the University of Maryland. She started her media career in Salisbury, Maryland at WBOC news. and was formerly a sports talk radio host for WJZ-FM, and a sports reporter for WRC-TV in Washington, D.C.

In 2007, Theoharis joined MASN as a reporter. Some of her other duties for MASN included covering the Baltimore Ravens by hosting Ravens Xtra with Wally Williams and Bruce Laird and Playmakers, and reporting during Orioles telecasts. In 2011, instead of covering the Baltimore Orioles team on a day-to-day basis and providing live reports during and after games, she started focusing on interviews and features for the network's "Mid-Atlantic Sports Report," blogging regularly and filling in for sportscaster Jim Hunter alongside Rick Dempsey on the "O's Extra" pre- and post-game shows when Hunter shifts into the booth for play-by-play. She also hosted a sports talk show called The A-List on WJZ-FM 105.7 Baltimore and was a columnist for PressBox.In September 2012, Theoharis left MASN to work for NFL Network on NFL Total Access, where she replaced longtime co-host, Kara Henderson, who left the network after nine years to start a family.

Theoharis was named Baltimore's most eligible bachelorette by Forbes. Theoharis is married to Todd Buchler and together they have two daughters.

Andy Allanson

Andrew Neal Allanson (born December 22, 1961), is a former professional baseball catcher who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for eight seasons, from 1986 to 1995. Andy was signed as a second-round pick in the 1983 amateur draft, by the Cleveland Indians and scout Bobby Malkmus.

Allanson would break into the Major Leagues on April 7, 1986, starting Opening Day behind the plate for the Indians. He went 3–4 with one run batted in, helping the Indians defeat the Baltimore Orioles 6–4. A lithe, take-charge catcher, Allanson's handling of the 1986 Cleveland pitching staff was in part responsible for the Indians resurgent, 84–78 mark. He was named the Topps All-Rookie catcher. Despite his size (6'5", 220 lbs), Allanson did not hit a home run until his 1,025th pro at-bat, in the Kingdome that June 23. The Indians, feeling they were perhaps a better-hitting, veteran catcher away from contention, signed Rick Dempsey for 1987, demoting Allanson. Cleveland finished last (61–101), and Allanson was again the starting catcher in 1988.

The acquisition of Joel Skinner before the 1989 season again cut into Allanson's playing time, and when the team traded for Sandy Alomar, Jr. in December 1989, it was clear Allanson's starting days were over. He was released the following spring, and was picked up by the Texas Rangers a few days later. Allanson was released in May, and did not play for any other club that year.

He was picked up by the Kansas City Royals in January 1991, and was traded to the Detroit Tigers before the season started. Allanson played 60 games for the Tigers, backing up Mickey Tettleton behind the plate, and became a free agent after the season. He signed with the Milwaukee Brewers for the 1992 season, and joined the San Francisco Giants in 1993. However, he only played 24 games during that two-year span, and would not appear in the Major Leagues again until 1995 with the California Angels, playing in 35 games.

Danny Walton

Daniel James Walton (July 14, 1947 – August 9, 2017) was an American Major League Baseball outfielder. He played for the Houston Astros (1968 and 1977), Seattle Pilots (1969), Milwaukee Brewers (1970–71), New York Yankees (1971), Minnesota Twins (1973 and 1975), Los Angeles Dodgers (1976), Yokohama Taiyo Whales (1978), and Texas Rangers (1980). During a 9-year major league baseball career, he hit .223, 28 home runs, and 107 runs batted in.

Walton, along with Sandy Valdespino, was traded from the Houston Astros to the Seattle Pilots for Tommy Davis on August 31, 1969. Popular with the Brewers fans who sat in the left field bleachers at Milwaukee County Stadium, Walton was dealt to the New York Yankees for Bobby Mitchell and Frank Tepedino on June 7, 1971. Walton was sent by the Yankees to the Minnesota Twins for Rick Dempsey on October 31, 1972.Walton died August 9, 2017, in Morgan, Utah, aged 70.

Dave Cash (baseball)

David Cash Jr. (born June 11, 1948), is an American former professional baseball second baseman, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, and San Diego Padres, from 1969 to 1980.

List of Los Angeles Dodgers coaches

The following is a list of coaches, including position, year(s) of service(s), who appeared at least in one game for the Los Angeles Dodgers National League franchise also known previously as the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Tom Beyers
Bakersfield Dodgers Manager
Succeeded by
John Shelby
Preceded by
Bill Russell
Albuquerque Dukes Manager
Succeeded by
Phil Regan
Preceded by
Bruce Benedict
Norfolk Tides Manager
Succeeded by
John Gibbons
Preceded by
Glenn Hoffman
Los Angeles Dodgers Bullpen Coach
Succeeded by
Jim Lett
Preceded by
Eddie Murray
Baltimore Orioles First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Dave Cash
Preceded by
Tom Trebelhorn
Baltimore Orioles Third Base Coach
Succeeded by
Tom Trebelhorn
Preceded by
Elrod Hendricks
Baltimore Orioles Bullpen Coach
Succeeded by
Larry McCall
Preceded by
Dave Cash
Baltimore Orioles First Base Coach
Succeeded by
Sam Mejías
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