Wednesday, July 1, 2009

#125 -- Dave Cash

Dave Cash

I always liked Dave Cash. He had a lot of style, as you can see in this card. He's got the wristbands, the hat's cocked just right and he's got just the hint of an arrogant sneer as he pretends to look at the pitcher that's going to throw him a pitch. I always think of him as a Pirate, although he had his best success with the Phillies.

Dave came up and got some playing time in 1970 filling in for Bill Mazeroski. In 1971 he played half-time at second and some at third, still getting over 500 at bats. However, Rennie Stennett was coming up and Cash had to split time with him.

In 1974 Cash was part of a straight up trade within the division to the Phillies for Ken Brett. It worked out for both teams, more so of the Phillies than the Pirates. Cash teamed up with Larry Bowa to anchor the middle infield and had over 200 hits twice (and 189 the other year).

Cash retired with the highest fielding percentage for a second baseman. For a time in the 1970's, he held the record for most at bats in a season, which means he led off, played every day, played for a team that scored a lot and he didn't walk. But he didn't strike out either. He's somebody that you'd think would have good speed, but wasn't a good base-stealer, stealing 120 and being caught 74 times, just over 60%, which wasn't good for a 1970's leadoff hitter.

I always thought Dave Cash was cool. I also saw that he was part of the 1st all-black starting 9 in the majors on September 1, 1971. It's probably happened a few times since.

1972 Feature
Nolan Ryan continued his assault on July 1, 1972, by striking out 16 A's in a 5-3 win. He gave up 3 runs on only 5 hits, but also walked 3, hit Sal Bando and Bill Voss in the 7th and threw his 9th wild pitch of the year.

The Game of the Day is going to be in Fenway. Going into the top of the 9th the Red Sox have a 5-3 lead, but the Brewers scored 2 in the 8th and have momentun. All of the Red Sox runs have come on home runs, two by Ben Oglivie and one by former Brewer pitcher Marty Pattin. Don Newhauser came in to relieve in the 9th and got a grounder to short. Since Luis Aparicio had not been hitting well, the Sox were trying out rookie Juan Beniquez at short. Beniquez had a much better bat, but was a woeful shortstop. In 1971 he played 15 games at short, made 6 errors and fielded .895. He was better in 1972. In 27 games he made 14 errors, but his fielding percentage improved to .900. It's hard to field under .900. Juan never played shortstop again until a 1 inning emergency for the Angels in 1985.

Anyway, an out and a walk later and the tying run is on base. The Sox bring Luis Tiant in to face Ron Theobald. We've seen Theobald's card. He's not menacing looking and he hit like he was borrowing Eddie Gaedel's bat. Theobald did make some solid contact on Tiant, however. He did the right thing and hit a grounder to Juan ".900" Beniquez, but Beniquez handled it cleanly and it turned into a 6-4-3 game-ending double play. Theobald hits it hard, but that turns it into a double play when Beniquez fields it cleanly. Sometimes guys go against what they would normally do.


  1. I love how the bright colors on this card match up. A real beauty.

  2. I always thought Dave Cash was cool, too. I guess he must be cool then.

  3. The blue shadowing combined with the sky really create a contrast in the Pirates colors. This card is one of the better visuals in the set.

  4. dave cash is currently a coach for the sussex skyhawks in the can am independent league

  5. I was on the freshman basketball team at Proctor High in Utica,NY in 1965.After practice we went to watch the varsity team.As we walked into the gym the bleechers were all pushed back to the wall. There was this guy with his back against the bleechers who lifted the basketball over his head then cocked it behind his head in a strange but beautiful motion and let it fly in what seemed like a 50' shot and said confidently as it was going towards the basket "Killer from the corner"...swish.I looked at my friend and we both said at the same time as we burst out laughing "Must be Dave Cash".He was junior but already was a legend in the area for his basketball exploits.He was very "cool".I was lucky enough to get to play on the same baseball team with him when I was a sophmore and he was a senior.He played shortstop.He was not only a great athlete and cool,he was a gentleman.I was proud to know him.

  6. Dave Cash was my favorite player, from the first day I started watching baseball, because he was so cool. But he was cool naturally, which is rare. Great story Frank.