Nov 2, 2012

Former Mets Coach: Dick Sisler (1979-1980)

Richard Allan Sisler was born into a talented baseball family November 2, 1920 at St. Louis Missouri.


He was the son of St. Louis Browns (1915-1927) Hall of Famer George Sisler who hit over .400 twice, won two batting titles (1920 & 1922) & was the 1922 AL MVP. He won three stolen base titles, was the league leader in triples & hits twice each.


He finished his career with a .340 batting average (16th all time), 2812 hits (47th all time), 102 HRs, 425 doubles (134th all time) & 164 triples (30th all time).

George posted 375 stolen bases (88th all time), 1175 RBIs (159th all time), & a .379 on base % (177th all time). He also played for the Washington Senators (1928) & Boston Braves (1928-1930). His younger brother Dave Sisler was a relief pitcher in the sixties with the Boston Red Sox (1956-1959) Detroit Tigers (1959-1960) Washington Senators (1961) & Cincinnati Reds (19610). He posted a 38-44 record with 29 saves a 4.33 ERA in 247 games. His older brother George Sisler Jr. was a minor league baseball executive.

Dick Sisler was never the hitter his dad was, but still enjoyed a good baseball career. He signed with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1939 & hit over .300 his first four years in pro ball. He spent eight years in the minors, before coming up to the big leagues in 1946 with the World Champion Cardinals, playing as a reserve outfielder & first baseman. He got to play in two World Series games going 0-2 as a pinch hitter.

Sisler was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ralph Lapointe & $30,000 at the start of the 1948 season. He had four quality seasons in Philadelphia batting over .274 every year, including .289 in 1949. In the Phillies 1950 NL Pennant season, Sisler batted .296 with 13 HRs & 83 RBIs as the clubs left fielder.


That year he helped the Phillies Whiz Kids get into the World Series, getting votes for the MVP Award. That year Sisler had career highs in batting average (.296) HRs (13) doubles (29) RBIs (83) walks (64) & hits (155).

The Phillies had lost five in a row in the final week of the season & the Brooklyn Dodgers were just one game out as the two teams faced off in the last game of the year at Ebbetts Field. If the Phillies lost the game, they would have been tied with the Dodgers forcing a three game playoff. Brooklyn's Don Newcome &

 
Philadelphia's Robin Roberts went into the 10th inning in a 1-1 ties. With two men on, Sisler hit a three run HR that won the game for the Phillies. The HR made Sisler world-famous; even Ernest Hemingway motioned him in the classic novel The Old Man and the Sea. At the time his dad was a scoot for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In the World Series he struggled going just 1-17 with five strikeouts. After batting .287 in 1951, he was traded with Eddie Pellagrini, Andy Seminick & Niles Jordan to the Cincinnati Reds for Smoky Burgess, Howie Fox and Connie Ryan. After just eleven games in Cincinnati, Sisler was traded back to finish his eight year playing career in St. Louis in 1952 &1953.

In his eight year career he hit .276 with 720 hits, 55 HRs 28 triples 118 doubles a .336 on base % & 360 RBIs in 799 games played.

Retirement: After his playing days he coached with the Cincinnati Reds (1961-1964). He took over as manager when Fred Hutchinson had to step down due to a bout with cancer.

Sisler then coached the St. Louis Cardinals (1966-1970) getting to two World Series with them in those years winning one championship. he then went to the San Diego Padres (1975-1976) & New York Mets.

He served as a Mets coach in 1979 – 1980 under manager Joe Torre. Sisler passed away in 1998 at the age of 78 in Nashville Tennessee.

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