Fun Facts about Dick Radatz:
-Played basketball and baseball at Michigan State University. One of his teammates on the diamond was fellow future relief ace Ron Perranoski.
-A great quote from sportswriter Jim Murray sums him up well: "Dick Radatz brings one weapon - a fastball. It's like saying all a country brings to war is an atom bomb."
-Won the Fireman of the Year award as a rookie with the 1962 Red Sox on the strength of a 9-6, 24-save, 2.24 ERA performance.
-Became the first pitcher in major league history to save 20 games in back-to-back seasons with an even more impressive 1963 campaign (15-6, 25 SV, 1.97 ERA). Finished fifth in MVP voting while playing for a seventh-place Boston club.
-Turned heads with five strikeouts in two innings in the 1963 All-Star Game. His victims were Willie Mays, Dick Groat, Duke Snider, Willie McCovey, and Julian Javier.
-Turned in a career-long 33-inning scoreless streak between May 13 and June 14, 1963.
-Won a second Fireman of the Year award in 1964, winning 16 games in relief and saving 29
while striking out 181 in 157 innings, a record total for a reliever. His ERA was a scant 2.29.
-Beginning in 1965, shoulder and elbow injuries curtailed Radatz's effectiveness. He won nine games and saved 22 that season (with a mediocre 3.91 ERA), but won three and saved 22 total over the final three seasons of his career.
-Played for five teams in his last three seasons (1966-1967 and 1969): Red Sox, Indians, Cubs, Tigers, and Expos.
-Was selected to the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 1997.
-Sadly, he fell down the stairs of his home in 2005 and died from the resulting injuries at age 68.