FAVORITE BRAVES PLAYERS OF THE 1970'S
#65 DICK DIETZ
ATLANTA BRAVES 1973
Dick Dietz's career year was 1970 with the Giants where he knocked in 107 runs and made the All-Star team. But for the purposes of this blog, we need only look at his last year in the majors, 1973. He was a very good pinch-hitter for the Braves that year, batting .295 in 141 at-bats. His highlight of 1973 was a two-run homer off of Jerry Koosman to lead the Braves to a 2-0 win against the Mets.
But what I remember most about Dick Dietz's year with the Braves was beyond his control. In 1973, Hank Aaron was approaching Babe Ruth's Home Run record, but at this point of his career, Aaron only started two out of three games. During any of those games that Aaron didn't start when there was a pinch-hitting situation, the crowd yelled for manager Ed Mathews to send in his old teammate Hammerin' Hank. But more often than not, Mathews sent up Dick Dietz. And of course, Dick would get booed. Not because the crowd disliked Dietz, he just wasn't Hank Aaron. I just remember feeling bad for him.
Dick died in Clayton, Ga. in 2005 at the age of 63.