Thursday, February 11, 2010
The Dandy Dozen: Dick Caruso - 1st ever 2nd City Hall of Famer
The Resume: Boy, where do you start? Dick Caruso is the Babe Ruth of Second City. He won 2 AL MVPs and 3 AL MVPs. He was a 9-time all-star. He won 9 silver sluggers, 8 in LF and 1 at 1B.
During the world's first 10 seasons, the FEWEST RBI he collected in any season was 133, never hit below .300 or scored fewer than 125 runs. He posted more walks than strikeouts in 7 of his 12 seasons. He played in EVERY GAME of the first 6 seasons of the world.
He was the first player to 500 HRs and finished his career with 600, tied for 4th all time. His 1,747 RBI ranks 3rd all time. His 1,579 runs are 5th all-time. His slugging percentage of .654 is 3rd best of all-time. Finally, he was intentionally walked a league-record, 211 times.
Caruso hit 60 or more HR's in 4 of his first 6 seasons. In short, he is the most accomplished hitter in Second City History.
The Rest of the Story: Despite all the accolades, Caruso left the game a bitter, jaded mercenary. Despite being the most feared hitter in the game, he played in 6 different cities. He was twice signed as a free agent and traded once. All Caruso ever wanted was to be the star for one franchise, but he ended his career playing 80 games in AAA because he couldn't walk away.
When he was first a free agent, Caruso signed the most lucrative contract in Second City History, landing a 5 year, $110 million deal with the Charlotte Moon Knights. Still, after all of that, Caruso has been rightfully added to the Hall of Fame ahead of ALL others. And you can bet he'll cash in on the autograph circuit.