Cliff Dapper

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Cliff Dapper
Catcher
Born: (1920-01-02)January 2, 1920
Los Angeles
Died: February 8, 2011(2011-02-08) (aged 91)
Fallbrook, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 19, 1942, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
May 3, 1942, for the Brooklyn Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average .471
Home runs       1
Runs batted in       9
Games played       8
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • Became the only player to be traded for a broadcaster (Ernie Harwell)

Clifford Roland Dapper (January 2, 1920 – February 8, 2011) was a Major League Baseball catcher who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1942 season. Listed at 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m), 190 lb, he batted and threw right-handed.[1]

Born in Los Angeles, Dapper began his baseball career began at age 18 for Class-B Bellingham Chinooks in the Western International League. With many players unavailable due to World War II, Dapper got his shot at the majors in April 1942, appearing in eight games for Brooklyn. He connected eight hits in 17 at-bats for a .471 batting average, including a home run, one double, two runs and nine RBI. Despite his hot hitting, Dapper was unable to dislodge all-star Mickey Owen from the catcher's position for the Dodgers, and he was returned to the minors. Later that season he was drafted, and missed the 1943-45 seasons while serving in the South Pacific during World War II.[2][3]

Following his military discharge, Dapper returned to baseball as a player and then manager, helming Pittsburgh Pirates farm clubs in Eugene, Oregon, and Billings, Montana, all while still an active player. He eventually played 1,623 minor-league games over a twenty-year span, hitting .274 and 102 homers before retiring in 1957, the same year that his former team, the Dodgers, would move to his home town of Los Angeles.[2]

Following his baseball career, Dapper settled in Fallbrook, California, buying a ranch along former Dodgers teammate Duke Snider where they made a substantial living farming avocados and lemons on 60 acres.[4]

Dapper died at his home of Fallbrook, California, at the age of 91.[4]

Traded for Ernie Harwell[edit]

Dapper held the unique distinction of being traded for an announcer. In 1948, Dapper, then with the Dodgers' top farm club in Montreal, was sent to the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association in exchange for Ernie Harwell, so that Harwell could substitute for ailing Dodger broadcaster Red Barber. Dapper batted .280 for the Crackers and took over as the club's manager. Harwell left the Dodgers after the 1949 season and was replaced by Vin Scully, and went on to a Hall of Fame career as a broadcaster, mostly for the Detroit Tigers. Harwell and Dapper would not meet for over half a century, when Dapper came to Comerica Park on September 15, 2002, when Harwell's statue was unveiled.[4][5]

References[edit]

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