- June 6, 1907
- 6' 1"
- 185 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 8-15-1928 with NYA
- Hall of Fame:
No catcher ever caught as many World Series games as Bill Dickey (38). He was a solid, if not spectacular, contributor to the Yankee dynasty of the 1930s and early 1940s, catching at least 100 games in a record 13 straight seasons. He helped groom Yogi Berra to replace him in the Yankee lineup, and even managed the team for part of the 1946 season. A hard-hitting lefty, Dickey took advantage of the short right field line in Yankee Stadium, belting 135 of his 202 career homers at home.
#10 (1929), #8 (1930-1943, 1946)
"Bill Dickey was the heart of the team defensively and commanded tremendous respect from the Yankee pitchers. Once the game started, he ran the show." — Bill Werber
Aaron Robinson in 1946-1947, and then Yogi Berra, who wore Dickey's #8, which was ultimately retired in honor of both catchers.
Dickey batted .362 with a career-high .617 slugging percentage in just 112 games, and his hitting helped re-establish the Yankee dynasty, which hadn't won a pennant in four years. The keen Dickey struck out just 16 times. Whereas Dickey's power seemed to stem from the short right field line at Yankee Stadium, that did not mean that he hit poorly on the road. In '36 for example, he batted .351 in 51 home games with 14 homers and 52 RBI. In 61 road contests he batted .371 with 8 home runs and 55 RBI. He had more extra-base hits per 100 at-bats on the road than he did in the Bronx (13.8 to 12.5). Historically, however, Dickey had more power in Yankee Stadium.
In 1931, Bill Dickey became the first catcher to play an entire season without allowing a single passed ball.
Pulling the ball.
Early in his career, Dickey was an impatient hitter, and he was also a below-average baserunner.
On July 26, 1939, Dickey belted three home runs at Yankee Stadium.
"As an all-around catcher for both hitting and catching, I'd have to rate Bill Dickey of the Yankees in the 1930's and 40's as the best I ever saw," said Bob Feller, "He was as good as anyone behind the plate, and better with the bat. There were several others I'd include right behind Dickey: Al Lopez, Mickey Cochrane, Gabby Gartnett, Roy Campanella and Wes Westrum. Yogi Berra? An excellent hitter, especially in the late innings with the game hanging in the balance, and the American League's Most Valuable Player three times, but as a catcher I always thought he was above average."
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