February 6, 1926|
|Died: January 27, 1991
Palm Coast, Florida
|April 21, 1951 for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
Last MLB appearance
|July 18, 1963 for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||467|
Career highlights and awards
Richard Dale Long (February 6, 1926 – January 27, 1991) was a first baseman in professional baseball. Between 1951 and 1963, Long played in Major League Baseball 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.
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 with 79 RBIs, while collecting double-figure totals in extra-base hits with 19 doubles, 13 triples, and 16 home runs. In fact, Long led the major leagues in triples (13) in that 1955 season.
In 1956, Long posted career highs in home runs (27) and RBI (91), made the National League All-Star team, and put his name in the record books by 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.
Traded to the Chicago Cubs in May 1957, Long belted 55 homers for them in two and a half seasons. In 1958 he became the first left-handed-throwing catcher since Jiggs Donahue in 1902. 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. In 1959 he tied another home run record, when he hit back-to-back pinch-hit homers.
Long played for the Washington Senators during 1961 and 1962, 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, Long 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.
- Walsh, John. "Top 10 Left-Handed Catchers for 2006," The Hardball Times, April 6, 2006.
- Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Chicago Cubs 2 (first game of doubleheader); Wednesday, August 20, 1958 at Wrigley Field (box score) – Retrosheet.
- Los Angeles Dodgers 2, Chicago Cubs 1; Sunday, September 21, 1958 at Wrigley Field (box score) – Retrosheet.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Baseball Library - profile and chronology
- Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers - list of left-handed throwing catchers
- Historic Baseball - obituary