Wednesday, February 14, 2007

100 Greatest Red Sox >> #83: Bill Dinneen

Bill Dinneen, P, (1902-1907)

64 wins, 60 losses, 2.70 ERA, 143 GS, 133 CG, 1097.0 IP

Not many people can say they won a World Series with the Boston Red Sox in the 20th century. To one up that, only two men can say they’ve ever won three World Series games in the same post-season for the Red Sox: famous “Smokey” Joe Wood and “Big” Bill Dinneen.

In 1903, Dinneen (pictured here in the Syracuse Hall of Fame) was a solid starter for the Sox but was overshadowed by the legendary Cy Young. Young trumped Dinneen in everything:



But we’re talking about playoffs. Playoffs?! Yes, playoffs. Dinneen was the true star of the World Series, winning three of the five games and racking up a slender 2.06 ERA. In 35 innings to Young’s 34, Dinneen struck out more batters (28-17) and allowed fewer hits (29-31) en route to Boston’s first World Series victory. The final out in the World Series was his: he struck out Honus Wagner to clinch the Series for the Americans.

There is no “Bill Dinneen Award” and there will never be one, but for the 1903 World Series he had an edge on Young. Not many pitchers can say that, but he is one.
The Syracuse, N.Y. native landed in the big leagues with the Washington Senators in 1898. After two seasons as a Senator and another two as a Boston Beaneater, he jumped to the Boston Americans – now known as the Red Sox.

His three best seasons ever came as an American:



Although he dominated, his arm was over-worked. In the 1904 campaign, Dinneen set a 20th century record by pitching 37 consecutive complete games. From 1905 on he wasn’t the same pitcher.

Dinneen struggled to stay healthy and consistent on the mound. During the 1907 season, the Americans traded Dinneen to the St. Louis Browns for Beany Jacobson and $1,000. Jacobson was a bust, however, pitching in only 2 innings after the trade. Dinneen finished his career as a Brown in 1909.

Dinneen quickly found a new position in baseball, though: umpire. He began umpiring in the 1909 season and, sure enough, was one of the best at making the right call.

He worked eight World Series – a total of 45 games -- in his 29 years as an umpire. Dinneen was a fast worker behind the plate. He won money in the ‘30s for having the quickest average time while being the home plate umpire.

He umpired five no-hitters, a record he shares with William Klem who also did it during the same time period. Dinneen, however, is the only umpire to have thrown a no-hitter and been the ump for one, also.

Randy Booth writes and maintains OverTheMonster.com. He can be reached at rbooth@overthemonster.com.

47 comments:

Eklof 22 said...

He umpired five no-hitters, a record he shares with William Klem who also did it during the same time period. Dinneen, however, is the only umpire to have thrown a no-hitter and being the ump for one, also.

Now that's multi tasking! Nice piece, very interesting!

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