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Dale Long
First baseman
Born: February 6, 1926(1926-02-06)
Springfield, Missouri
Died: January 27, 1991 (aged 64)
Palm Coast, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
April 21, 1951 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
July 18, 1963 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average     .267
Home runs     132
RBI     467
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • All star in 1956
  • Led NL in triples in 1955 with 13

Richard Dale Long (February 6, 1926 - January 27, 1991) was a first baseman in professional baseball. Between 1951 and 1963, Long played with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1951, 1955-1957), St. Louis Browns (1951), Chicago Cubs (1957-1959), San Francisco Giants (1960), New York Yankees (1960, 1962-1963) and Washington Senators (1961-1962). He batted and threw left-handed.

A native of Springfield, Missouri, Long turned down an offer from the Green Bay Packers to play football, opting instead to play baseball.

Contents

Career

Long spent six seasons in the minor leagues, playing for five different organizations before he debuted with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1951, ending that season with the St. Louis Browns. After three and one-half additional seasons in the minors, Pittsburgh gave Long another chance. He hit .291 batting average with 79 RBIs, while collecting double-figure totals in extra-base hits with 19 doubles, 13 triples, and 16 home runs.

In 1956, Long posted career highs in home runs (27) and RBI (91) and made the National League All-Star team, but he was sure to put his name in the record books for hitting eight home runs in eight consecutive games between May 19 and May 28. Since then, the mark has been matched only by Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey, Jr. (1993), both in the American League, both also left-handed hitters.

Traded to the Chicago Cubs in May 1957, Long belted 55 homers for the Cubs in two and a half seasons. In 1958 he became the first left-handed-throwing catcher since Jiggs Donahue in 1902.[1] Long performed this feat in a pair of Cubs losses at Wrigley Field, during the first game of a doubleheader versus the Pirates on August 20 and on September 21 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In both cases, he had been shifted from first base in the ninth inning.[2][3] In 1959 he tied another home run record, when he hit back-to-back pinch-hit homers.

In 1960 Long divided his playing time between the San Francisco Giants and New York Yankees. As a member of the Yankees, he faced his former Pirates team in the 1960 World Series. The Series ended in dramatic fashion with Pittsburgh's second baseman Bill Mazeroski hitting a home run in Game Seven.

Long played for the Washington Senators from 1961-62, but was also on the Yankees team that won the 1962 World Series over the Giants. He finished his playing career in 1963. Following his retirement, he served as a Yankee coach and later as an umpire in minor league baseball.

In a 10-season career, Long was a .267 hitter with 132 home runs and 467 RBI in 1013 games.

Dale Long died in Palm Coast, Florida at age of 64.

See also

References

External links

Preceded by
none
Home runs in eight consecutive games
May 19 - May 28, 1956
Succeeded by
Don Mattingly
Preceded by
Jiggs Donahue
Left-handed-throwing catchers in Major League Baseball
1958
Succeeded by
Mike Squires
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