On Wednesday of this past week, the baseball world received some unfortunate news.
Dick Tidrow, former major league pitcher and longtime member of the San Francisco Giants’ front office, passed away at the age of 74. His family says the death was unexpected and occurred over the previous weekend.
The well-traveled pitcher came to the White Sox as part of a Crosstown trade following the 1982 season. Tidrow was sent along with Scott Fletcher, Randy Matz, and Pat Tabler to the South Side for pitchers Warren Brusstar and Steve Trout. If you remember the Winning Ugly Sox, then you know the important role he played in his lone season with the club, as well as his signature leg kick.
Tidrow would apear in 50 games during that ’83 campaign, going 2-4 with a 4.22 ERA, 66 strikeouts, 34 walks, 4.30 FIP, 1.309 WHIP, and a team-leading 91.2 innings of relief. He also made a rare start during an August doubleheader against the Tigers, his first in five years, in what turned out to be a 5-4 White Sox winner. Thanks to a 99-win regular season, the AL West Champion White Sox helped Tidrow make it back to the postseason for the fourth time in his career.
With the team trailing the Orioles 6-1 in Game 3 of the American League Championship series, the right-hander was called upon for three innings of work in his only playoff appearance. Tidrow went on to strike out three, walk three, give up one hit, and surrender an earned run in the outing. Unfortunately, we all know how the story goes as the Tony La Russa managed squad would later be eliminated the following day in a 3-0 loss.
Looking at his career from a wider scope, Tidrow played for a total of 13 seasons with his other teams including the Indians, Yankees, Cubs, and Mets. In those years, he not only recorded 55 saves but also 100 wins, making him one of only 37 pitchers in MLB history to accomplish the feat. “Dirt” also served almost any role you can think of from starting pitcher to long reliever to set up man and closer. He really did it all.
Of course, Tidrow left his lasting mark with San Francisco after his playing days as a member of the front office. He joined the organization prior to the 1994 season and held the titles of special assistant to the general manager, director of player personnel, assistant GM for player personnel, and senior vice president and senior advisor to the GM. He was an especially integral part of constructing the recent 2010, ’12, and ’14 World Series champion teams.
“Our entire organization is heartbroken by the news of Dick’s passing,” said Giants president and CEO Larry Baer in a press release. “So much of our success over these past three decades is directly linked to Dick’s contributions. He will be truly missed by all of us, and our thoughts are with Mari Jo and his entire family during this difficult time.”
We, too, would like to extend our condolences to his family, friends, loved ones, and anyone else who Tidrow may have impacted over the course of his life.
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