Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#9 Del Rice

1953 Topps Archives

Delbert Rice
Bats: Right , Throws: Right
Height: 6' 2" , Weight: 190 lb.
Born: October 27, 1922 in Portsmouth, OH

Signed as a Free Agent with the Los Angeles Angels December 29, 1960.

As starting catcher, received the first pitch from Eli Grba at Baltimore April 11, 1961.
Later released by the Los Angeles Angels on October 19, 1961. At the age of 47 appearred in 3 games for the Angels minor league team in El Paso.

In 44 games hit .241 with 4 HR and 11 RBI.
Angels Manager in 1972.

Rice played in the major leagues for 17 years (1945-61), appearing in 1,309 games. The right-handed hitter played the bulk of his career for the St. Louis Cardinals (1945-55; 1960), where he was a regular or semi-regular from 1947-52. He finished his career as a reserve catcher for the Milwaukee Braves (1955-59), Chicago Cubs (1960), Baltimore Orioles (1960), and Los Angeles Angels (1961), hitting .237 with 79 home runs. Rice also had a brief career in the National Basketball League, playing 11 games for the Rochester Royals during the 1945-1946 season.
One of the 18 games Rice caught as a Cub was Don Cardwell's no-hitter (May 15, 1960).
Rice was a longtime member of the Angels' organization. As a veteran free agent, Rice was the first player ever to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. After he played in their maiden '61 campaign, he was the first-base coach for the club (1962-66). He spent the 1967 season as a coach for the Cleveland Indians, but then returned to the Angels as a minor league manager and had success at the AAA level. He was named Minor League Manager of the Year for 1971 by The Sporting News after leading the Salt Lake City Bees to a divisional title in the Pacific Coast League.
He was rewarded with a promotion to skipper of the 1972 Angels, but after one season and a 75-80 (.484) fifth-place finish, he was replaced by Bobby Winkles. He remained with the club, however, as a scout.

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