T.R.’s Memoirs: R.A. Dickey for the Hall of Fame? Actually, he’s in a class by himself
Editor’s note: T.R. Sullivan covered the Texas Rangers over 32 years for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and MLB.com, and is sharing his “memoirs” with this newsletter. In this latest installment, Sullivan recounts the saga of R.A. Dickey, the Rangers’ first-round pick in 1996 who is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year.
Former Rangers manager Buck Showalter once had a particularly memorable message for a pitcher he was about to pull from a game.
Starting pitcher R.A. Dickey was taking a beating early, and Showalter decided his young right-hander had enough. Not only was Dickey’s ass taking a beating, but so, too, was his fragile ego. Dickey badly wanted to be in the Rangers’ rotation, but a start like this one could easily lead to a young pitcher getting sent to the bullpen or — even worse — banished to Triple A Oklahoma City.
Showalter walked to the mound, stretched out his hand for the baseball, looked Dickey in the eye and said:
“See you in five days.”
Dickey got a pat on the backside and walked off the mound feeling lousy about his performance but relieved by his manager’s confidence.
“That meant a lot to me when he said that,” Dickey later told me.
Dickey deserved that respect. He is one of the most unique and amazing players I ever covered during my 32 years on the Rangers beat.
I am voting for him on my Hall of Fame ballot this year.