Harry Dunlop

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Harry Alexander Dunlop (born September 6, 1933, at Sacramento, California) is an American former catcher, coach and manager in professional baseball. As a player, Dunlop never reached Major League Baseball—he spent his early career as a catcher and pilot in the minor leagues—but he spent 21 seasons in the big leagues as a coach during the period between 1969 and 2005.

Catcher for Necciai's 27-strikeout game[edit]

Dunlop batted left-handed, threw right-handed, stood 6'3" (190.5 cm) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg). He played in the farm system of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1952 through 1957—missing the 1953–54 seasons due to military service—but his most famous achievement came during his 16-game stint with his first team, the Bristol Twins of the Class D Appalachian League. Between May 13 and May 26, 1952, Dunlop caught three no-hitters from Bristol pitchers, one from Ron Necciai in which Necciai struck out a record 27 batters in a nine-inning game, and two no-hitters from teammate Bill Bell.

The Necciai game is regarded as one of the most outstanding achievements in baseball history. While he recorded 27 strikeouts and one ground ball out, Necciai had to garner 28 outs in the game because of a passed ball by Dunlop on a strikeout in the ninth inning. "That was the first of three no-hitters I caught in 14 days," Dunlop said 35 years later. "But it was the only professional game anyone ever caught in which a pitcher struck out 27 batters in nine innings. I felt like a celebrity after it. I told [manager] George Detore, I said, 'George, I called a helluva game, didn't I?' You know what? George just looked at me and said, 'Why'd you call that pitch to so-and-so in the sixth?'"[1]

Minor league manager[edit]

Dunlop's celebrity was short-lived. His playing career stalled in 1956 with the New Orleans Pelicans of the Class AA Southern Association and he was released by the Pirates the following season. He kept his baseball career going, however, as the playing manager of the unaffiliated Tucson Cowboys of the Class C Arizona-Mexico League. The Cowboys finished second in the league in 1958, and Dunlop batted .349.

By 1961, Dunlop had joined the minor league managerial staff of the Baltimore Orioles, with the Stockton Ports of the Class C California League. He managed at the Class A level for the Orioles and the California Angels through the middle of 1968, briefly coached for the AAA Seattle Angels, and then was named a coach in 1969 for the first-year Kansas City Royals expansion franchise in the American League.

Major League coach[edit]

He spent seven seasons (1969–75) as a coach with Kansas City, then served on the staffs of the Chicago Cubs (1976), Cincinnati Reds (1979–82), and San Diego Padres (1983–87).

During his Kansas City tenure, he worked for 2½ years (1973 through mid-1975) under Royals manager Jack McKeon, like Dunlop a former minor league catcher in the Pirates' organization, and the two formed a strong professional association. McKeon was the general manager of the Padres when Dunlop coached for San Diego; he then moved Dunlop into the Padre farm system as field coordinator of minor league instruction (1988–90). McKeon also named Dunlop to his coaching staff in his late-career managerial assignments with the Reds (1998–2000) and Florida Marlins, for whom Dunlop served as a coach in 2005 when he was 71 years of age, and McKeon, his boss, was 74.

He recently wrote a book "50 Years in a Kid's Game."

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sports Illustrated, June 1, 1987
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Bill Rigney
Tucson Cowboys Manager
1958
Succeeded by
Ernest Choukalos
Preceded by
Billy DeMars
Stockton Ports Manager
1961-1964
Succeeded by
Harry Malmberg
Preceded by
Chuck Tanner
Quad Cities Angels Manager
1965
Succeeded by
Ken Blackman
Preceded by
Ken Blackman
Quad Cities Angels Manager
1965-1966
Succeeded by
Fred Koenig
Preceded by
Rocky Bridges
San Jose Bees Manager
1967-1968
Succeeded by
Del Rice
Preceded by
Doc Edwards
Wichita Aeros Manager
1977-1978
Succeeded by
Jack Hiatt
Preceded by
George Scherger
Cincinnati Reds Bench Coach
1979-1982
Succeeded by
George Scherger
Preceded by
first manager
Las Vegas Stars Manager
1983
Succeeded by
Bob Cluck
Preceded by
Clyde McCullough
San Diego Padres Bullpen Coach
1983-1985
Succeeded by
Preceded by
San Diego Padres Bench Coach
1986
Succeeded by
Greg Riddich
Preceded by
Ozzie Virgil
San Diego Padres Third Base Coach
1987
Succeeded by
Sandy Alomar, Sr.
Preceded by
Gary Calhoun
Helena Brewers Manager
1991-1992
Succeeded by
Mike Epstein
Preceded by
Mike Epstein
Helena Brewers Manager
1993
Succeeded by
Dub Kilgo
Preceded by
Joel Youngblood
Cincinnati Reds Third Base Coach
1998-1999
Succeeded by
Ron Oester
Preceded by
Doug Davis
Florida Marlins Bench Coach
2005
Succeeded by
Gary Tuck