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Bucky Dent

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Full Name: Russell Earl Dent Primary Position: SS
Height/Weight: 5' 9"/170 First Game: June 1, 1973
Birthdate: November 25, 1951 Final Game: September 11, 1984
Birthplace: Savannah, Georgia MLB Experience: 12 years
Bat/Throw: Right/Right


Biography

Russell Earl "Bucky" Dent (b. November 25, 1951), born Russell Earl O'Dey, is an American former Major League Baseball player and manager. He earned two World Series rings as the starting shortstop for the New York Yankees in 1977 and 1978, and was the World Series MVP in 1978. Dent is most famous for his home run in a tie-breaker game against the Boston Red Sox at the end of the 1978 season.

Later known as Bucky (bleeping) Dent by Red Sox fans, Dent was born in Savannah, Georgia, Dent was the sixth pick in the 1970 major league draft. By the age of 21, he was playing shortstop for the Chicago White Sox. He wore uniform number 30 on the White Sox. The pressure of succeeding future Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio at the position was problematic, however, and in 1977 the White Sox traded him to the Yankees for slugger Oscar Gamble, future Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt, a minor leaguer and $200,000. The Yankees gave him uniform number 20.

Though Dent was not known as a home run hitter - he hit a grand total of 40 in 12 years in the major leagues - his place in the annals of baseball has been secured by his three-run homer which gave the Yankees the go-ahead run in the 1978 AL East division playoff game with their archrivals, the Red Sox. With a fierce wind blowing out to left field, Dent connected with a badly hanging breaking ball pitched by Mike Torrez (who had pitched for the Yankees only the previous season), and hit a pop fly to left that would just clear Fenway Park's Green Monster (310 feet from home plate), giving the Yankees a one-run lead.

Sportscaster Bill White's call of the moment for Yankees flagship WPIX remains one of baseball's most famous:

Deep to left! Yastrzemski will not get it -- it's a home run! A three-run home run for Bucky Dent and the Yankees now lead it by a score of three to two!

The Yankees went on to win the game and the division title, and thus upholding the Sox' Curse of the Bambino. Because of this event, Red Sox fans hold a great deal of animosity towards Dent, and they gave Dent a profane nickname, usually printed for public consumption as "Bucky (Bleeping) Dent."

A 3-time All-Star, Dent would remain the Yankees' shortstop until 1982, when he was traded to the Texas Rangers for outfielder Lee Mazzilli. On the Rangers, his uniform number was 7. Dent would return to the Yankees briefly in 1984 (but not playing a game) before finishing his career that season with the Kansas City Royals, wearing uniform number 21. He retired, having spent his full 12-year playing career in the American League, with a .247 batting average, 40 HRs and 423 RBI.

After retiring as a player, Dent managed in the Yankees' minor league system. He served the Yankees as manager of the big league club for portions of two seasons, compiling a 18-22 record in 1989 and a 18-31 record in 1990. In 1992 George Steinbrenner called upon Dent to help train Derek Jeter, the Yankees' first round pick that year.

Dent once appeared in a commercial for Michelob Light-brand beer with another former baseball player, Marv Throneberry.

Most recently, Dent threw out the first pitch to Yankees great Yogi Berra in the 7th and final game of the 2004 American League Championship Series, which was to end poorly for the Yankees, as they lost to the Boston Red Sox 10-3.

In November of 2005, Dent became the bench coach for the Cincinnati Reds.


Statistics

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1973 CHI A 40 117 17 29 0 10 .248 .308 .265 2 0 10 18 1 2 2 0 1
1974 CHI A 154 496 55 136 5 45 .274 .316 .347 15 3 28 48 3 23 3 0 9
1975 CHI A 157 602 52 159 3 58 .264 .301 .341 29 4 36 48 0 15 2 3 16
1976 CHI A 158 562 44 138 2 52 .246 .300 .302 18 4 43 45 2 17 3 3 10
1977 NY A 158 477 54 118 8 49 .247 .300 .352 18 4 39 28 1 14 1 0 9
1978 NY A 123 379 40 92 5 40 .243 .286 .317 11 1 23 24 2 6 3 1 10
1979 NY A 141 431 47 99 2 32 .230 .287 .285 14 2 37 30 1 13 0 1 5
1980 NY A 141 489 57 128 5 52 .262 .327 .354 26 2 48 37 2 9 0 1 6
1981 NY A 73 227 20 54 7 27 .238 .300 .379 11 0 19 17 2 8 0 0 1
1982 TEX A 46 146 16 32 1 14 .219 .280 .301 9 0 13 10 0 3 0 0 2
1982 NY A 59 160 11 27 0 9 .169 .207 .188 1 1 8 11 0 4 0 0 7
1982 TOT A 105 306 27 59 1 23 .193 .242 .242 10 1 21 21 0 7 0 0 9
1983 TEX A 131 417 36 99 2 34 .237 .278 .297 15 2 23 31 1 7 3 0 3
1984 KC A 11 9 2 3 0 1 .333 .400 .333 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0
Total 1392 4512 451 1114 40 423 .247 .297 .321 169 23 328 349 15 121 17 9 79

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1973 CHI A SS 36 35 295.1 51 132 7 22 0 0 0 0 0 .963
1973 CHI A 2B 3 0 8.2 4 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1973 CHI A 3B 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1974 CHI A SS 154 153 1325 251 499 22 108 0 0 0 0 0 .972
1975 CHI A SS 157 157 1408.1 279 543 16 105 0 0 0 0 0 .981
1976 CHI A SS 158 154 1373 279 468 18 96 0 0 0 0 0 .976
1977 NY A SS 158 153 1317.2 250 434 18 90 0 0 0 0 0 .974
1978 NY A SS 123 120 1010.2 178 341 10 57 0 0 0 0 0 .981
1979 NY A SS 141 136 1187.2 219 512 17 107 0 0 0 0 0 .977
1980 NY A SS 141 141 1248.1 224 489 13 77 0 0 0 0 0 .982
1981 NY A SS 73 73 632 104 217 10 49 0 0 0 0 0 .970
1982 TEX A SS 45 44 387 55 146 4 30 0 0 0 0 0 .980
1982 NY A SS 58 50 444 74 177 10 27 0 0 0 0 0 .962
1982 TOT A SS 103 94 831 129 323 14 57 0 0 0 0 0 .970
1983 TEX A DH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
1983 TEX A SS 129 125 1100.2 150 369 11 71 0 0 0 0 0 .979
1984 KC A SS 9 2 27 2 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
1984 KC A 3B 2 1 10 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total 2B 3 0 8.2 4 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total SS 1382 1343 11756.2 2116 4332 156 839 0 0 0 0 0 .976
Total 3B 3 1 12 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000
Total DH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Career Highlights

Transactions

  • Selected by St. Louis Cardinals in the 9th round of the free-agent draft - did not sign (June 5, 1969).
  • Selected by St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st round (6th pick overall) of the secondary phase of free-agent draft - did not sign (January 17, 1970).
  • Selected by Chicago White Sox in the 1st round (6th pick overall) of the secondary phase of free-agent draft (June 4, 1970).
  • Traded by Chicago White Sox to New York Yankees in exchange for Oscar Gamble, LaMarr Hoyt, Bob Polinsky and $200000 (April 5, 1977).
  • Traded by New York Yankees to Texas Rangers in exchange for Lee Mazzilli (August 8, 1982).
  • Released by Texas Rangers (April 2, 1984).
  • Signed by New York Yankees (June 7, 1984).
  • Released by New York Yankees (July 9, 1984).
  • Signed by Kansas City Royals (August 16, 1984).
  • Released by Kansas City Royals (October 10, 1984).

Trivia

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