Ex-Yankee Dineen dead at 63

You have to be a really good Yankees’ fan to remember Kerry Dineen. He was one of those players who had a “cup of tea” in the majors. I remember Dineen, though.

In 1975, while playing at Shea while Yankee Stadium was being renovated, the Yankees’ outfielders had trouble with Shea’s outfield, and eventually Roy White, Bobby Bonds and Elliott Maddox all came up with knee injuries. Maddox missed about 100 games that season and never was the same after hitting .303 and (according to WAR, Wins Above Replacement) being the Yanks best player in 1974.

On top of those injuries, Lou Piniella had an inner ear infection which affected his balance and he wound up hitting .196 that season. He missed about half the year.

Things were so bad that I remember a game in which Ed Herrmann was catching, and the corner outfielders were Thurman Munson and Rick Dempsey.

Between them, in CF, was a slight rookie OF named Kerry Dineen. Dineen had no power, and in seven games for the Yanks in 1975, went 8 for 22 with a double and an RBI.

The next season he played in four games for the Yanks, going 2 for 7, both singles, with an RBI. He was out of the majors in 1977 and resurfaced with the 1978 Phillies, for whom he went 2 for 8, 1 double, in five games.

For his MLB career, he played in just 16 games, going 12 for 37 (.324) with 2 doubles and 2 RBI.

Dineen passed away about two months ago at the age of 63.

You may ask how or why I remember him. Probably because of that strange day when two top catchers (Munson and Dempsey) had to play LF and RF while a third catcher, Ed Herrmann, was behind the plate, and with Munson and Dempsey in the outfield, the trivia question would be “who was playing CF between Munson and Dempsey?”.

Well, Conference Championship Sunday is set. Brady/Manning again in the AFC. My Steelers put up a good fight without Williams or Brown and an injured Big Ben (and if you recall, Bell and Pouncey were lost very early on in the preseason and regular season). Brown’s absence wasn’t only felt in the receiving aspect of the game, but also in the punt return aspect also. I can’t stand the Patriots, and the thought of Denver in the Super Bowl fills me with dread. I mean, outside of the two Super Bowls Elway won at the end of his career (Thank You, Terrell Davis), the Broncos history in the big game is one of being blown out (43-8, 55-10, 42-10, 39-20….). Not looking forward to another one of those.

One heck of an ending to Arizona/Green Bay this weekend, now Arizona travels to Carolina. I’ll probably be rooting for the winner of this game to win it all. The Cardinals have only won one title—in 1947 when they beat the Eagles for the NFL title. Oh yeah, the Cardinals were the CHICAGO Cardinals at that time.

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