- SS, 3B, 2B, DH
- November 29, 1939
- 5' 11"
- 176 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-17-1960 with DET
Richard John (Dick) McAuliffe was born in Hartford, Connecticut on November 29, 1939. His Major League career began in 1960 as a short stop (second base man) with the Detroit Tigers. He was known for his wide-open batting stance and as a middle infielder with power, three times topping twenty homers. Described as one of the best leadoff men of his era, he tied a ML record by going the entire 1968 season without grounding into a double play. He was the Tigers' catalyst in their 1968 World Championship year, leading the AL with 95 runs scored. He played seven games in that World Series, in which the Tigers claimed the championship by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 4 games to 3. He was the AL's starting shortstop in the 1965 and 1966 All-Star games, and was an All-Star second baseman in 1967. He retired among Detroit's all-time top ten in five offensive categories.
A commentator on the 1968 season wrote "Another Tiger who had a fine year was Dick McAuliffe. McAuliffe spent his 16-year career playing second base and shortstop for Detroit; like Freehan, he had the misfortune to have his best years at a time when pitchers ruled the game.
Boston Red Sox
McAuliffe continued as the Tigers’ starting second baseman through the 1973 season. In October 1973, the Tigers traded him to the Boston Red Sox for Ben Oglivie. McAuliffe hit only .210 in 100 games for the Red Sox in 1974. He began 1975 as the manager of Boston's Double-A farm team, the Bristol Red Sox, located in McAuliffe's native state of Connecticut. He guided Bristol into first place in the Eastern League, but was recalled to Boston in August to resume his playing career as a utility infielder. However, McAuliffe was released after playing only seven more games. His career ended on September 1, 1975, in a Yankees-Red Sox game. McAuliffe dropped an easy popup for an error. Later in the inning, McAuliffe’s throw pulled Carl Yastrzemski off the bag. Though it was scored a single, the Boston fans booed McAuliffe. McAuliffe was left off Boston’s post-season roster, and his major league career was over
McAuliffe was only a lifetime .247 hitter, but that does not reflect his value; this season, he led the AL in runs scored despite hitting only .249. McAuliffe did other important things well, like drawing walks and hitting for power (197 career home runs). He was among the better offensive infielders of the era."
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