Don Stanhouse

Although his tenure in Baltimore was limited to two good seasons and a comeback year, both of the nicknames for which Don Stanhouse became famous were earned while wearing an Orioles uniform. Manager Earl Weaver, overly apprehensive every time Stanhouse was retrieved from the bullpen, called him “Full Pack” after the number of cigarettes he was known to smoke each time he pitched. 1 Stanhouse’s teammate Mike Flanagan called him “Stan the Man Unusual” as a play on words to rhyme with the surname of a St. Louis Cardinals’ Hall of Famer. There was, however, far more to the pitching career of Don Stanhouse than a pair of colorful nicknames. During his decade in the major leagues, as he sported a red afro and occasional walrus moustache, he perfected his skills both as a starting pitcher and as a short reliever in a career which took him from Cowtown to Tinseltown by way of la Belle Province and the Land of Pleasant Living. Stanhouse reached the pinnacle of his performance in 1979, the year he earned both an All-Star berth and a trip to the World Series with the Orioles. Injuries may have cut short his career after winning a free-agent jackpot with the Los Angeles Dodgers but he remains a unique character in the memories of his fans and the media.

Donald Joseph Stanhouse was born on February 12, 1951 in DuQuoin, Illinois to a family of Scottish-Irish background. 2 As a high school student, Stanhouse earned All-American honors in baseball and football and was regarded as the best athlete the school had ever produced in both sports. As John Croessman reported in the Evening Call, “DuQuoin could find itself on the 4th down, 12 or 15 yards out, and the confident Stanhouse would drop back, roll out the side, and throw a ‘Hail Mary’ pass 56 yards from the Murphysboro 44.” 3 In light of his heroics on the Van Meter Field gridiron, Stanhouse was recruited by Dan Devine at the University of Missouri on a football scholarship and also was selected by the Oakland A’s as a third baseman with number nine pick in the first round of the June 1969 draft. He faced a decision most aspiring athletes would drool over: whether to accept a football scholarship at Missouri or sign a contract with the Oakland Athletics. It was a win-win situation with Devine and Charlie Finley working things out where Stanhouse could get a college education and pursue a major-league career.

In his first professional season in the Northwest League, he was redeveloped as a pitcher while continuing to play third base. Though reluctant to switch positions initially, he was convinced by manager Billy Herman that while it could take four to six years to reach the major leagues as a third baseman, that time would be halved as a pitcher. Stanhouse made the switch and emerged as the top pitching prospect in the Oakland organization within three years.


“I know the Oakland people were high on me and I also knew there was an opening for a 5th starter in their rotation of Vida Blue, Ken Holtzman, Catfish Hunter and Blue Moon Odom. So I went to spring training [in 1972] feeling like I would get a good shot at making the rotation.” 4 The A’s were coming off a record of 101-60 with a division title in 1971. Since Vida Blue, the reigning Most Valuable Player and the man responsible for 24 of those victories, was holding out for a better contract, Stanhouse was warmly welcomed to the group and had reasons to feel cautiously optimistic about cracking the rotation. What he never expected was a trade before Opening Day, least of all to the “new” Texas Rangers.

“I was really surprised when they told me about the trade, but when I learned who it was for, I knew the Rangers must have a lot of confidence in me.” 5 Oakland sent Stanhouse and Jim Panther to Texas on March 4, 1972 for Denny Denny McLain. After the season opener was protracted by labor action, Stanhouse lived up to scouting expectations in his major-league debut on April 19, 1972, a bleak 40 degree afternoon in Chicago. Stanhouse introduced himself to the American League by striking out the side in the first inning. Relying mainly on fastballs, his totals for the day included five hits, one run, nine strikeouts, and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. Despite a 2-1 triumph by the White Sox, Stanhouse beamed with pride that he “got Dick Allen twice on the fastball.” 6 For the season, he posted a respectable 3.78 earned run average despite a record of 2-9. The Rangers, meanwhile, posted a ghastly record of 54-100 playing before empty bleachers in unbearable heat in their first season after transferring from Washington. Manager Ted Williams resigned after the season and was replaced by Whitey Herzog. The relationship Stanhouse endured with his new manager tested his mettle during his sophomore season.

The 1973 Rangers picked up right where they left off in 1972, in the basement of the American League West. As Herzog told Mike Shropshire of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he did not know if he were managing a baseball team or a Mexican bus station.7 Stanhouse did not exude confidence in his new manager. In his first appearance of the season in Kansas City on April 11, the 22 year old right-hander yielded a walk-off home run to Paul Schaal.8 By Memorial Day, Stanhouse’s record deteriorated to 0-5. His job appeared secure, at least temporarily, as his earned run average of 4.23 was sufficient to lead the team.9 Stanhouse was still a bachelor and his manager grew concerned that his concentration was focused on diversions away from the baseball diamond: “The other day, when Stanley was pitching in Minnesota, I swear, he kept on staring at this [striking woman] sitting behind the Twins’ dugout. Well, everybody on our bench was staring at her too. But we weren’t trying to pitch to Harmon Killebrew!” 10

Stanhouse had no problem focusing on June 13, 1973 in Cleveland when he and starter Pete Broberg outpitched Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry to achieve his first save in organized baseball. Exhibiting the confidence he displayed playing high school football, as he sat on the bench before the ninth inning, “…I had a real strong feeling and I told myself I was going to strike out the side.” 11 After fanning John Lowenstein and Buddy Bell, he surrendered a single to Jack Brohamer before George Hendrick was called out on strikes. Despite the poise Stanhouse demonstrated on the mound, it was his mischievous attitude that rankled the conservative Rangers’ establishment. Later that night on a flight to Baltimore, Shropshire remembers that “…Stanhouse, still flush from his resounding ninth inning in Cleveland, prowled the aisles, autographing paper napkins and stuffing them into the shirt pockets of the various passengers who had no idea who Stanhouse was or what convention he and his bizarre cronies were headed to.” 12

Entering a July 2 contest to preserve a 3-2 lead for phenom David Clyde, Stanhouse surrendered two runs and dropped his record to 1-7. By now, Herzog was resolved to demote his colourful pitcher at the first opportunity. Within two weeks, Jackie Brown had been summoned from AAA Spokane at the expense of Stanhouse’s spot on the roster.13 While pitching for Spokane, an incident on a flight retuning from Hawaii unfairly cemented Stanhouse’s reputation with the Rangers as an agitator: “One player got mouthy with a [stewardess] and she went and got the agent. The agent wanted to kick the guy off the plane. It was not the player that had caused the problem but he mouthed off. I defended the player because I figured we were all together. The agent said ‘OK, you’re off too.” 14 The local media had misinterpreted the story, accusing Stanhouse of anything from attempting to fly the plane to luring a stewardess into the latrine with him. The Rangers bought the media’s side of the story and never recalled Stanhouse when the rosters expanded.

By 1974, Billy Martin had replaced Whitey Herzog as the manager. Having already won division titles with reclamation projects in Minnesota and Detroit, Martin had little interest in punishing players for their actions off the field; he told Stanhouse that “Those things don’t matter as long as you play well for me.” Stanhouse once again split the 1974 season between the Rangers and Spokane. The Montreal Expos saw enough potential in his fastball to acquire him and infielder Pete Mackanin on December 5, 1974 for Willie Davis. He began the 1975 season in Memphis for Karl Kuehl and quickly made a believer in his new manager. On May 12, Stanhouse one-hit the Richmond Braves, 8-0, on only 95 pitches. By the time he was promoted to Montreal in June, he had amassed a record of 6-5 with a sterling earned run average of only 1.92. Injuries limited Stanhouse to four Montreal appearances for Gene Mauch in 1975 and as training camp broke the following season the Expos nearly outrighted him off the major-league roster. Stanhouse was out of options, but the team’s new manager insisted on keeping him. That manager’s name was Karl Kuehl.

Stanhouse proved to be one of the few pleasant surprises on the 1976 Montreal Expos. Although his record of 9-12 would ordinarily appear modest, he was particularly valuable considering how injuries and inexperience limited the Expos to a record of 55-107. Beginning the season in the bullpen, Stanhouse was promoted to the starting rotation in June when ace Steve Rogers was injured with a broken hand. In his first start, he snapped a six-game losing streak by limiting the Pirates to five hits in a 7-1 victory. Stanhouse helped his cause by belting a two-run single and was treated to a standing ovation by the sparse crowd at Jarry Park. Kuehl complimented Stanhouse, affirming that “he’s always pitched well for me. That’s the way he pitched at Memphis last year.” 15

After losing his next start to the Giants, Stanhouse pitched an impressive 3-0 shutout over the Padres. He was now 4-2 for a team 12 games under .500, responsible for two of the four complete games for the entire rotation. Stanhouse continued to pitch well, and after defeating the Giants at home on August 9, his record stood at 8-5 while his 2.60 earned run average was second in the National League only to Fred Norman’s 2.38. 16 Stanhouse had rewarded Kuehl and his coaches for staying the course and ignoring criticism. As he conveyed to Bob Dunn of the Montreal Star early in the season, “I’m erratic. I know that. Consistence is the name of the game. Give me a little time.” 17 In 26 consecutive starts, Stanhouse was an unsung hero for the Expos. It was a battle every day, every game and he was ready to do his part.

Stanhouse had additional challenges as training camp broke for the Expos in 1977. Replacing Kuehl as manager was Dick Williams, who arrived in Montreal with a reputation as a style of hardnosed, no-nonsense leadership. Stanhouse was determined to erase Williams’ opinion of the Montreal rotation as “Steve Rogers and a bunch of no-names.” 18 As he discussed with Ian MacDonald of the Montreal Gazette, “I know I can win. I just have to get my act together and prove it again this spring.”19 Despite his lacklustre performance in Daytona Beach, Stanhouse was rewarded by Williams as the Number 2 starter behind Steve Rogers.

“I’ve always believed that Rogers was the one pitcher here who thought I could be number 2. I have to believe in myself. I have always believed [that] if there were going to be two right-handed starters here, I had to be one of them.” 20

In his first start of the 1977 season at Veterans Stadium, Stanhouse surrendered five earned runs in five hits before Bill Atkinson won the game in relief over Philadelphia. His next start on April 15 would be the first game played at the cavernous new Olympic Stadium. A two-run homer by Ellis Valentine marked the entire offensive output for the Expos as they were defeated 9-2, also by the Phillies. Although Stanhouse later admitted he was struggling with a virus, Williams was not impressed. But, Williams knew he had a great arm and a pitcher with a no quit attitude, but, could he get hitters out.

“Maybe he belongs in the bullpen,” the manager quipped. 21 Stanhouse was not pleased with Williams’ decision, though one would not know it from his pitching record. In 31 relief appearances, he went 6-2 with 10 saves and a 1.52 earned run average.22 Although rated by one publication among the 10 most effective relief pitchers in baseball, Stanhouse was paid less than 70% of the Expos’ pitching staff. 23 After struggling with contract negotiations, the Expos traded Stanhouse, along with pitcher Joe Kerrigan and outfielder Gary Roenicke, to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Rudy May, Randy Miller, and Bryn Smith on December 7, 1977.

Initially, a carefree bachelor such as Stanhouse might have been disappointed to relinquish the Ste. Catherine Street nightlife – the envy of Major League Baseball – for a city where entertainment had been described by Norm Cash as going “down the street and [watching] hubcaps rust.” 24 However, the trade to Baltimore allowed Stanhouse the opportunity to reach an accomplishment he could never have achieved had he stayed in Montreal – to pitch in a World Series. Years after Stanhouse retired, he explained to Baltimore Sun writer Mike Klingaman the significance behind his ‘Unusual’ nickname:

Stanhouse’s unorthodox nature extended far beyond his pitching delivery. He would arrive in spring training in a black Cadillac to match his outfit and the paint scheme of his apartment. He used to bring a stuffed gorilla to the games, perhaps the inspiration for the primal screams he would yelp as batting practice concluded and the game was about to start. 25 Then there was the ‘sleeper’ egged on by teammates Lee May and Terry Crowley. “I’d go into the stretch and drop my head, like I’d fallen asleep. Eventually the hitter would stomp out of the box and the umpire would come out and say ‘Wake up!’”26 When he did, the game was over!

Antics aside, the 1978 Orioles found themselves in a pennant race with the defending World Champion New York Yankees, an iconic Boston Red Sox team, and the surprising Milwaukee Brewers. Ironically, the strength of Orioles teams of the past – pitching – proved to be their undoing, preventing the Charm City squadron from finishing higher than fourthplace. The bullpen was particularly suspect as relievers Joe Kerrigan, Tim Stoddard, and Tippy Martinez all struggled early in the season. On the other hand, in spite of Weaver’s outward anxiety whenever Stanhouse pitched, he expressed great confidence in his new right-handed bullpen specialist: “He’s my short man, whether it be right-handed or left-handed hitters.” When asked if Weaver had ever stayed with a closer for an entire season, he replied, “I can’t remember that I ever did,” adding that Stanhouse “[has] shown that he can get the job done, so I’m going to stay with him.” Pitching coach Ray Miller further illustrated Weaver’s remarks, “he won’t give into the hitters, even if he gets behind on the count. He continues to go after them with his pitch. That may be why he walks a few, but it’s also why he gets people out.” 27

Indeed, Stanhouse walked nine batters in his first 13 innings of the season. On the other hand, by April 30, he registered five saves – five more than any of his teammates – while limiting the opposition to a minuscule 0.67 ERA. On July 4 in Cleveland, Stanhouse notched his 12th save, thus matching the season record for any Orioles relief pitcher under Weaver. However, the way he pitched might have been enough for Weaver to single handily propel the share price of his Raleigh cigarettes. As Jim Henneman of the Baltimore Sun reported, Stanhouse was forced to convert two double plays in order to save himself from base running situations that were his own doing. He put them on so he would know where they were at!

“I know I have too many walks for a relief pitcher and I know the reason I walk so many,” Stanhouse pleaded with Henneman. “It’s because I won’t throw for the middle of the plate. It’s just the way I pitch.” 28 On a lighter note, he later admitted that he thought he was cheating the fans if he enticed the batter to pop out on one pitch when he could work the count on six or seven. 29 Stanhouse also admitted culture shock in adjusting to Weaver’s style of managing his bullpen, asking his relievers to warm up three or four times before he would bring them into a game. He could have also used a little luck from the batting order. During the first half of 1978, the Orioles scored only twice after Stanhouse entered the game. His record for the season was 6-9 with a 2.89 ERA and 24 saves, one short of the franchise record set by Stu Miller. It is said that Weaver taunted him about the record to get him ready for the next year.

Following the 1978 season, the Orioles tweaked their roster by signing free agent pitcher Steve Stone and purchasing the contract of John Lowenstein from the Texas Rangers. In spite of these personnel moves, expectations for 1979 were modest as owner Jerold Hoffberger put the team up for sale. Stanhouse remembers the anticipated competition to become the top American League team: “You look at the Yankees, Boston and California and their personnel they had that year and you think, ‘Wow, were they good!’ But you know something? We beat ‘em all.”30 Baltimore generated a record of 102-57, the best in baseball for 1979. After a typically slow April, the Orioles catapulted themselves into a comfortable first-place lead by the end of May, claiming 11 of their 23 June victories in the eighth inning or later. Under the banner of “Oriole Magic,” it seemed a different player was the game’s hero every night. Large crowds became the norm at Memorial Stadium rather than the exception, the most vocal of whom was William G. “Wild Bill” Hagy. Hagy led cheers from Section 34 at the Orioles’ old stadium during the 1970s and 1980s. He spelled out O-R-I-O-L-E-S with his body while fans yelled each letter in unison. You knew you were at an Orioles home game when you heard 40,000 Baltimore accents exclaim “O!” in unison during the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

For at least 21 of those victories, Don Stanhouse could count himself among the Orioles’ heroes – one for every save he achieved in 1979. In July, he was invited to accompany Ken Singleton as Orioles representatives at the All-Star Game in Seattle. Singleton pinch hit and Stanhouse did not get into the game. Both unhappy with the 6-5 loss to the senior circuit, it was time to move on to more important things for the two All Stars. And, they and the Baltimore Orioles went on to win the American League East and won more games (102) that any team in major-league baseball that year.

After posting a record of 7- 3 with a 2.85 ERA during the regular season, Stanhouse was summoned from the bullpen to relieve Jim Palmer in Game One of the ALCS against the California Angels. True to the fundamentals of “the Oriole Way,” Stanhouse won the opener on pitching, defense, and a three-run homer – hit by Pat Kelly in the bottom of the 10th inning. Victory was no easier for the Orioles in Game Two, as Stanhouse entered the game with nobody out in the bottom of the eighth inning to preserve a 9-4 lead for Mike Flanagan. A run scored on a double-play ball, a sacrifice fly, and two RBI singles later, the Orioles lead had now dwindled to 9-8 before Stanhouse ended the game with the bases loaded. When asked why he had not sent his ace reliever to the showers, Weaver candidly answered, “I still had three cigarettes left!” 31 The Orioles went on to win the ALCS series on a complete-game shutout by Scott McGregor.

Stanhouse saw action in three games of the 1979 World Series. In Game Two, he yielded an RBI single to Manny Sanguillen to give the Pirates a 3-2 lead. He also pitched in Game Five and the deciding Game Seven in which Pittsburgh claimed the World Championship. It was a classic World Series with the Pirates coming back to win after being down three games to one. Stanhouse was not a factor during the series as he had been most of that year. It was said the Chuck Tanner, the Pirates manager, had to keep Stanhouse out of the game in the late innings.

Stanhouse would find his name in far more headlines after the conclusion of the season as an impending free agent. After losing key free agents Reggie Jackson, Bobby Grich, and Wayne Garland under Hoffberger, the Orioles were now under new management. In a classic battle of words between attorneys, however, new owner Edward Bennett Williams proved to be no match for Morden “Cookie” Lazarus. Stanhouse’s Montreal-based agent demanded a five-year, $1.5 million contract, which was comparable to what the Atlanta Braves were paying closer Gene Garber, also a Lazarus client.32 Williams scoffed at Lazarus’ demands, which average to $300,000 a season. Since Jim Palmer earned $265,000 in 1979, argued Ken Nigro of the Baltimore Sun, Palmer “would be the first at GM Hank Peters’ doorstep should Stanhouse be offered more.” 33

Talks soon broke off between Lazarus and the Orioles. Meanwhile, after appearing in both the 1977 and 1978 World Series, the Los Angeles Dodgers were rebounding from their first losing season in over a decade. At the apex of general manager Al Campanis’ shopping list were a starting pitcher and an effective closer. The 1979 free agent blitz would be the Dodgers’ first after the death of Walter O’Malley. Under the senior O’Malley, the Dodgers were risk averse against signing high profile free agents. On November 17, two days after breaking the bank to lure starter Dave Goltz from Minnesota, the Dodgers inked Don Stanhouse to a five-year, $2.1 million contract. As he told Gordon Verrell of the Long Beach Press Telegram, “I’ve got the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”34 His new manager, Tommy Lasorda, did not smoke, but his love for Italian food was already well known throughout baseball. Would “Full Pack” become “Full Plate” each time he was called upon to pitch?

Living in an exclusive ocean-view ninth-floor condominium in Marina del Ray, Stanhouse was in awe of his newfound lifestyle, “I sit at home … looking out at the pretty girls in shorts, the sailboats, the ocean, and here I am, a young millionaire bachelor right in the middle of it all.”35 In spite of his levity with the press, Stanhouse took pride in his uniform and made it clear why he signed with the Dodgers. As a member of a healthy Los Angeles team, he was confident he would return to a second consecutive World Series in 1980: “Everyone wants to play in the Ravine. It’s beautiful. I’ve been [to the World Series] once and I can’t wait to get back. I don’t see any reason why we can’t be there in 1980.36

The converse of Stanhouse’s prediction became the reality as injuries cost the Dodgers the 1980 National League West division title by half a game. Among the more severe injuries were shoulder, back, and pitching arm ailments to Don Stanhouse. After only four appearances in Dodger Blue, Stanhouse was placed on the disabled list on April 16. Three months would pass before he became activated: “It feels good just to be back,” he told Verrell in late July. “I was telling [trainer] Bill Buhler the other day while we were working out, it was a whole lot easier pitching.”37 Stanhouse pitched two solid innings in his return to the active roster, a 3-2 Dodger victory in 12 innings over the Chicago Cubs on July 27. However, it was evident to those who saw him pitch that his injuries limited his effectiveness. Stanhouse struck out only five batters in 21 relief appearances, posting a 2-2 record with 7 saves and a 5.04 ERA. By the end of the season, rookie Steve Howe had replaced him as the bullpen ace.

In April 1981, the Dodgers had a difficult decision ahead of them. With the roster decimated by injuries to starters Jerry Reuss, Burt Hooton, and Dave Goltz, they needed a healthy arm to carry the rotation. Consequently, in order to create a space for Dave Stewart’s recall from Albuquerque, the Dodgers released Don Stanhouse. Rick Monday remembers the Catch-22 situation faced by Al Campanis: “We were sad to see Don leave; he had been shelved by arm troubles but he was still a part of the team and a pretty good guy to have around. There were not too many dull moments in our clubhouse with Stanhouse [around].”38

The Dodgers did return to the World Series in 1981, defeating the New York Yankees in six games. However, Stanhouse was left no choice but to watch the games on television as his former teammates celebrated. At the same time, 1981 did offer Stanhouse a diamond milestone of a different sort when he married the former Kyle Stevenson, a flight attendant from Dallas, Texas. Thirty years later, that might have been his best pitch.

His old manager, Earl Weaver offered his career a lifeline to return to the Orioles in 1982. Effective enough in spring training and with injuries to many of the Orioles pitching staff, Stanhouse sign a contract on April 5. Returning to Baltimore, he was unsure of the reception he would receive from the fans he had left as a free agent two years earlier. On Opening Day, he received an emphatic answer. The PA announcer hadn’t even finished saying Stanhouse’s name in the pregame introductions when the capacity crowd at Memorial Stadium rose for a standing ovation, welcoming home their quirky but beloved prodigal son. “That,” Stanhouse says, “was the biggest thrill of my whole career.”39 But, it was not a year to remember, Stanhouse was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 17 appearances.

Stanhouse gave it one more shot the following year as a player-coach for the Hawaii Islanders. A season of work had made his arm strong again and things were looking good for a call back to the big leagues, ironically with the Pittsburgh Pirates. But a car running a red light hit Stanhouse’s car on the way to the ball park. Whiplash took its toll on a rebuilt arm and body. He was rained out of the last game of that season, he knew he just could not come back again. After ten years of pitching and pranks, agents and airports, he knew it was time to hang up his spikes. Earl Weaver’s package of cigarettes was now empty. His lifetime statistics were 64 saves in 294 appearances, a record of 38-54 and an ERA of 3.84.

As of 2012, Don and Kyle Stanhouse live in Trophy Club, Texas with their son Duke. Daughter Kameryn is in advertising and marketing in New York City and their married daughter, Kelsey Heil, delivered their first grandchild in June of 2012.

After 12 years as an investment banker, he established Stanhouse & Associates in 1995 which in turn generated two additional businesses, Pro Players Legacy Group and Pro Players Power and Gas. He is a lifetime member of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association and the Texas Rangers Legacy Group, having attended the 40th anniversary celebration on Opening Night 2011. Between his 60th birthday, his 30th wedding anniversary, and the return of his Rangers to their second consecutive World Series, 2011 was a year of celebrations for Stanhouse.


The odyssey of Donald Joseph Stanhouse is paradoxical but at the same time, common among baby boom American males; a free spirit who marched to the beat of his own drum and defied authority. “When I was in the big leagues, I thought it would last forever,” he remembers. “I didn’t think about life after baseball. But even if I had, this is light years away from where I’d ever thought I’d be.”40 But, he awoke one day to find himself the establishment figure he would have hated when he was 21. His Harpo Marx hairstyle and moustache have been replaced by white hair and a clean shaven profile. As he conveyed to Mike Klingaman of the Baltimore Sun, “I put on a suit and tie and drive a white SUV and do things I never thought I would do.” 41

In a 10-year major-league career, Stanhouse held the distinction of pitching for five managers who are in the Hall of Fame: Ted Williams, Whitey Herzog, Dick Williams, Earl Weaver, and Tommy Lasorda. He pitched in a World Series and was selected to an All-Star team. He shared a baseball field with over 60 Hall of Fame players and coaches and, for a time, held his own, with a “full pack” of wild ideas and in his own “unusual” way. For Stanhouse, the pitcher’s mound remains a special place, which is why he can’t resist an epilogue to his statement of good fortune.

“But you know something?” he says, chuckling lightly. “Someday, I could be back in that dugout, and Earl will be looking over at me and saying ‘Better get Fullpack up again.’ And I’d be ready to go. The game’s always changing. If you can just relax and change with it, life will be good.”  For Stanhouse, the infielder turned starting pitcher turned relief pitcher turned entrepreneur and father and husband, changing with an ever-changing game seems to be just business. Business as … unusual!”42


This biography was published in “1972 Texas Rangers: The Team that Couldn’t Hit” (SABR, 2019), edited by Steve West and Bill Nowlin.



1 Dan Epstein, Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ‘70s, (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2010), 174.

2 Ian MacDonald, “Ex-Starter Stanhouse a Kingpin in Expo Bullpen,” The Sporting News, August 27, 1977: 19.

3 John Croessman, “Don Stanhouse ‘The Closer’ in DuQuoin 40 Years Later,” The DuQuoin Evening Call; par 4; available from; Internet; accessed January 9, 2011.

4 Randy Galloway, “New Ranger Stanhouse Silences the Skeptics,” The Sporting News, May 6, 1972: 3.

5 Galloway, 3.

6 Galloway, 3.

7 Mike Shropshire, Seasons in Hell (New York: Dutton Publishing Company, 1996), 42.

8 Shropshire, 66

9 Shropshire, 43.

10 Shropshire, 73

11 Shropshire, 47.

12 Shropshire, 48.

13 Shropshire, 103.

14 Ian MacDonald, “’Want to Put My Act Together,’ Stanhouse Informs the Expos,” The Sporting News, March 12, 1977: 34.

15 Dunn, 15.

16 MacDonald (March 12, 1977), 34.

17 Dunn, 15.

18 Jacques Doucet, Il etait une fois les Expos – Tome 1: Les annees 1969-1984 (Montreal: Editions Hurtubise Inc., 2009), 296.

19 MacDonald (March 12, 1977), 34.

20 Dunn, 15.

21 MacDonald (August 27, 1977), 19.

22 MacDonald (August 27, 1977), 59.

23 Ian MacDonald, “Expos’ Offer ‘Embarrasses’ Stanhouse,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1977: 59.

24 Maxwell Kates, “Norm Cash” in Mark Pattison and David Raglin, eds., Sock It To ‘Em, Tigers (Hanover, Massachusetts: Maple Street Press, 2008), 24.

25 Klingaman, par 8.

26 Mike Klingaman, “Catching Up With…Former Oriole Don Stanhouse,” Baltimore Sun; par 10; available from; Internet; accessed 9 January 2011.

27 Jim Henneman, “Stanhouse Is Mr. Big in Orioles’ Bullpen,” The Sporting News, May 20, 1978″ 17.

28 Jim Henneman, “Reliever Stanhouse Props Up Shaky Orioles,” The Sporting News, July 22, 1978: 11.

29 Gordon Verrell, “Dave and Don Rich Odd Couple,” The Sporting News, April 5, 1980: 42.

30 Klingaman, par 18.

31 Klingaman, par 5.

32 Ken Nigro, “Lazarus Seeking to Raise Stanhouse,” The Sporting News, October 6, 1979: 22.

33 Nigro, 42.

34 Verrell (April 5, 1980), 42.

35 Verrell (April 5, 1980), 42.

36 Gordon Verrell, “Dodgers Grab Two Prizes,” The Sporting News, December 1, 1979: 52.

37 Gordon Verrell, “’It’s Time We Got Going,’ Says a Healthy Stanhouse,” The Sporting News, August 16, 1980: 22.

38 Rick Monday, and Ken Gurnick, Rick Monday’s Tales from the Dodgers Dugout (Champaign, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2006), 71-72.

39 Stanhouse, January 18, 2012.

40 Ibid.

41 Klingaman, par 16.

42 Stanhouse, January 18, 2012.

Full Name

Donald Joseph Stanhouse


February 12, 1951 at DuQuoin, IL (USA)

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