Dale Long

This article was written by Gregory H. Wolf

Dale Long (THE TOPPS COMPANY)Baseball fans love streaks. And though the number 8 is not as recognizable as 56 or 2,632, it is nonetheless a cherished part of the national pastime’s lore. After bouncing around the minor leagues for 11 seasons, 30-year-old Dale Long was the unlikely center of national media attention in 1956, his second full season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A powerful pull hitter, the left-handed slugger walloped a home run in eight consecutive games, bettering the previous big-league record by two. That accomplishment, later tied by the New York Yankees’ Don Mattingly in 1987 and the Seattle Mariners’ Ken Griffey Jr. in 1993, defined Long’s career and propelled him to fleeting stardom and baseball immortality.

Richard Dale Long was born on February 6, 1926, in Springfield, Missouri, to Elmer Euphrates and Mary (Lomax) Long. He was the fourth of five children (Lilian, Milton, Louise, and youngest sibling Janet) born between 1915 and 1931. Just months after Dale’s birth, the family relocated to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and then to Fond du Lac and later to Green Bay, where Dale attended kindergarten, while the elder Long looked for employment in the unforgiving times of the Great Depression. When his parents separated, Dale moved with his father to Berkshire County, in Western Massachusetts, about 40 miles east of Albany, New York. Dale attended Cheshire elementary school and Williston Academy, a boarding school in East Hampton, and finally Adams High School, near the historical district of Farnams in the town of Cheshire, where the elder Long worked as manager of the US Gypsum plant. Always big for his age, Dale naturally gravitated to sports. Local newspapers, the Berkshire Eagle and the North Adams Transcript, regularly reported about his accomplishments on the gridiron, hardwood, and diamond as the seasons changed.

Dale left Massachusetts before his senior year and moved in with his mother in Green Bay.1 When he discovered that he was not eligible to play sports in Wisconsin, he made another abrupt decision: He quit school and enlisted in the US Navy, in August 1943, during the height of World War II. Rising to the rank of seaman 2nd class, Long served on the USS PCS 1451, a patrol craft sweeper, which sought enemy submarines. A noncombat injury prematurely ended his stint in the military, and in May 1944, he was honorably discharged.2 He subsequently moved in with his brother, Milton, in Green Bay. In an interview conducted by SABR’s Gerry Tomlinson in the 1980s, Long stated bluntly about his teenage years, “I didn’t really like baseball.”3 His preference was football, which dominated the sporting landscape in Green Bay. According to Long, the legendary Packers coach Curly Lambeau offered the 18-year-old, a robust 6-foot-4, 200-pound fullback, a contract after a tryout, but his mother would not sign it on behalf of her still minor son to embark on a career in football.4

Dale had a stroke of luck. Packers assistant coach Red Smith also coached baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association and saw the teenager play in a local semipro league in Green Bay.5 Upon his recommendation, Brewers skipper Casey Stengel offered Long a contract that his mother gladly accepted.6 Long played in just one game, going 0-for-4, before leaving the team and returning to Farnams to re-enroll in high school. Once again starring in football and basketball, Long left school in late March of 1945 to participate in the Brewers’ spring training.

Long’s decade-long odyssey to the big leagues is a study in dedication and persistence. He had stints with 13 minor-league teams before he finally secured a permanent job, with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1955. Along the way, he was the property of six big-league clubs; was thrice selected in the minor-league or Rule 5 draft; had a brief, but disastrous cup of coffee in the majors in 1951, but persevered, his mighty left-handed home-run stroke always attracting interest.

Long initially made his mark as a sturdy contact hitter, batting .306 and .330, with little pop (seven combined home runs), in Class D and C, respectively, in his first two full seasons in Organized Baseball, primarily in the Cincinnati Reds farm system. The first baseman-outfielder’s glaring weakness was his fielding, which was an albatross Long carried with him until he hung up his spikes as a 38-year-old in 1964. Given his outright release by the Reds in 1947 and signed by the Boston Red Sox, Long emerged as a slugging threat the following season with the Class-B Lynn (Massachusetts) Red Sox. An imposing presence at the plate, he paced the New England League in runs batted in (119) and tied for second in home runs (18). Chosen by the Detroit Tigers in the 1948 minor-league draft and then by the New York Yankees in the 1949 draft, Long took a big leap forward in 1950, in his second season in the Class-A Eastern League, pacing the circuit in round-trippers (27) and setting a new league record with 130 RBIs (in 133 games) with the Binghamton (New York) Triplets. Given the Yankees surfeit of sluggers, Long’s outstanding season barely registered on the franchise’s radar, and he was selected by the Pirates on November 16 in the 1950 Rule 5 draft.

At the Pirates spring training in 1951, GM Branch Rickey made national headlines by deciding to convert the 25-year-old Long into a catcher. There had not been a regular left-handed-throwing starting catcher in the majors since Jack Clements in the late nineteenth century; and Jiggs Donahue who caught 45 games in 1900-1902, had been the last southpaw backstop. Even the lack of a left-handed catcher’s mitt did not derail the Mahatma’s plan. On March 20, Long debuted wearing the tools of ignorance in an exhibition game against the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League. “I knelt down to give the sign to some new kid who could really blaze that ball,” recalled Long years later. “In my head, I called for a curve. But I put down one finger for the fastball instead. I’m squatting there, looking for the curve and, whoosh, here comes the fastball. The only thing I could do was reach out and catch it with my bare hand.”7 Long played in the field only once for the Pirates in 1951, at first base against the New York Giants, and walloped a home run into the upper left-field deck in the Polo Grounds on May 5. Rickey gave up on the project and released Long, whom the lowly St. Louis Browns signed on June 1. Installed at first, Long saw action in 34 games (2 home runs, 11 RBIs, .238 batting average) before he was optioned to the San Francisco Seals in mid-July. He waited 3½ years to play in another big-league game.

In the offseasons, Long lived in Farnams and Berkshire County, where he married local resident Dorothy Robak in 1946 and with whom he had two children, Dale Jr. and Johnny. Long also played semipro football and basketball in the late 1940s and refereed high-school and college football games.

One can only imagine what Long thought when the Pirates purchased him after the 1951 season. Sportswriters commented that Rickey’s experiment with the player as a catcher set back his development by a year or more. Assigned to the New Orleans Pelicans of the Double-A Southern Association, Long teamed with future Pirates slugger Frank Thomas to finish 1-2 in round-trippers (33 and 35, respectively). Promoted to the Hollywood Stars in 1953, Long enjoyed his best season in professional baseball, leading the PCL in home runs (35) and RBIs (116), and was named the league’s MVP. On September 11, he had the novelty of playing all nine positions.

Long must have felt as though his chance to make it back to the big stage was slipping away. He played winter ball in 1953-1954 with Caguas, in Puerto Rico, and reported to the Pirates spring training in 1954, but was jettisoned well before camp ended. After another injury-riddled but productive (23-68-.280 in 410 at-bats) season with Hollywood, the 29-year-old Long was reluctantly back at the Bucs’ spring training in San Bernardino, California, but wanted assurances from Pirates brass that he’d get a fair shake in what seemed like his last shot with the Bucs. Were it not for endless support of Stars skipper Bobby Bragan, whom Long considered the “finest thing [that] happened to me in baseball,” the ballplayer might have called it quits.8

The Pirates, coming off their third consecutive last-place finish, expected little from Long in 1955. Initially slated as Preston Ward’s backup at first, Long collected four hits in the first game of a twin bill against the Philadelphia Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium on April 24 and wrestled the job away from the veteran. Long, described as “the newest of [manager] Fred Haney’s rascals,” whacked three doubles and drove in a career-best six runs on May 5 against the Milwaukee Braves at Forbes Field, and quietly emerged as the Pirates’ most feared slugger.9 Three hits against the Reds in the first game of a doubleheader at home on June 5 gave the slugger 17 safeties in his last 28 at-bats to push his average to .351. Three days later, he hit his first walk-off home run to give the Bucs a 2-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs. “Maybe my break will be an object lesson to others,” Long said when asked about his success. “A lesson for players never to give up; a lesson to owners to give a man a fair test.”10 Haney detected a difference in Long’s swing. “Pitchers used to take him out on a high, hard one inside,” said the skipper after Long belted two homers for the first of four times in his career, and collected four hits in the first contest of a twin bill against the Reds at Crosley Field on June 19. “They don’t anymore. He’s powering this pitch for distance.”11 Al Abrams, sports editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, noted that Long helped give the Bucs “respectability” and took umbrage at the player’s snub from the All-Star Game.12 The Bucs finished in the cellar again, though they avoided the 100-loss collar for the first time since 1951. Long was consistent at the plate (16-79-.291) while slugging a team-high .513 and tying Willie Mays for the league lead with 13 triples. He also paced the circuit in errors at first base (13) for the first of three times (also in 1956, 1961).

Enthusiastically greeting the hiring of mentor Bragan as the new Bucs skipper in 1956, the 30-year-old Long got off to a torrid start. He was batting .384 when he arrived at Forbes Field on May 19 to play the Cubs in a game that set him on path to unimaginable, indeed career-defining, fame. Armed with his standard 35-inch, 35-ounce bat, Long belted a home run and drove in four runs, and secured the Pirates’ win with a game-ending unassisted twin killing with the tying run at the plate. The next day, the largest crowd (32,346) in five years at Forbes Field saw Long bash two more home runs and drive in seven runs as the Pirates swept the Braves in a doubleheader. Three days later, he walloped a monstrous blast, widely described as one of the longest ever at Forbes Field, over the 436-foot sign in right-center field to extend his home-run streak to five consecutive games.13 “I didn’t care what they threw up there or who was throwing it, I could hit it,” said Long, in the midst of an epic groove.14 Suddenly cast into the national spotlight, Long victimized the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium to tie the major-league record of homering in his sixth consecutive game, held by High Pockets Kelly (1924), Walker Cooper (1947), and Mays (1955). Long took sole possession of the record in his next game when he spanked a knuckleball from the Phillies’ Ben Flowers over the right-field wall. National and local media outlets wanted a piece of Long. When the Pirates’ next game was rained out, Long took a train from Philadelphia to New York to appear on the nationally televised Ed Sullivan Show. On the verge of exhaustion, mentally and physically, because of the media circus, he returned to Philadelphia, traveled with the club back to Pittsburgh to kick off a series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. The largest crowd for a night game at Forbes Field in six years (32,221) watched Long blast a low inside curveball from Carl Erskine over the right-field wall to extend his home-run streak to eight games.15 Long’s accomplishment even reached the US government where Pennsylvania Senator James H. Duff (R) lauded him on the Senate floor.16 The Bucs’ seventh victory in their last eight games pushed their record to 19-14, the first time the club had been five games over .500 since 1948, and just 1½ games off the NL lead. Long’s streak ended on May 29 when the Dodgers’ Don Newcombe held him hitless in four at-bats. “I was just plain tired,” said Long. “I couldn’t get my bat around.”17

Long went 15-for-30 and drove in 19 runs during his epic streak and was sitting atop the leaderboards in home runs (14), RBIs (37, tied with Ken Boyer of the St. Louis Cardinals), and batting average (.411) when his glass slippers broke. On June 6 he severely pulled a muscle in his left leg; he was further hampered by a bruised right shin from foul tips. “I tried to play hurt, and by doing that, everything went down the drain,” recalled Long. “I didn’t help myself of the club. I couldn’t turn my foot.”18 He hit a dismal .151 with just one homer in his next 27 games leading into the All-Star break. Chosen as starting first sacker in his only midsummer classic, Long fanned twice. Little changed in the second half for Long, whose slump continued while the Pirates crashed and burned, too, at one point losing 25 of 33 games, and finishing in seventh place (66-88). Long paced the club with 27 home runs and 91 RBIs while batting .263.

Feted throughout the offseason, Long was presented awards by the Dapper Dan Club of Pittsburgh and the city’s chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America, and was a regular on the speakers’ circuit, giving at least 50 talks.19 At the Pirates spring training in Fort Myers, Long reflected on the stress following his home-run feat. “[A]ll of a sudden I’m famous. Maybe some people are built to handle all that. I’m not,” he said. “The outside pressure kept mounting until I was ready to explode.”20 While Long vowed to be a more consistent contact hitter, Pirates beat writer Les Biederman reported that the club was generally unhappy with his play.21 When Long fanned four straight times in the third game of the 1957 season, he landed in Bragan’s doghouse and was benched, much to the delight of the boo birds at Forbes Field. Pittsburgh sportswriter Al Abrams unapologetically called for his trade.22 On May 1, Long was the guest of honor at a testimonial dinner as the Pirates team MVP for the 1956 season when Bragan informed him that he had been traded along with outfielder Lee Walls to the Chicago Cubs for first sacker Dee Fondy and utilityman Gene Baker.23

Coming off a last-place finish and trying to avoid their 11th straight losing season, the Cubs welcomed the slugger to join superstar Ernie Banks. Long blasted a home run in his first game as a North Sider in a loss to the Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love, and also whacked round-trippers in in first two games as a Cub at Wrigley Field, both losses, the latter against his former teammates. After 13 games in blue, Long had five home runs and was slugging .625; however, his productive start was followed by 11 inconsistent weeks, during which he was benched often against left-handed pitchers and battled wrist injuries. After hitting .300 against southpaws in 1956, he managed a paltry .186 average in 1957. While the Cubs tied the Pirates for the NL’s worst record, Long unexpectedly emerged over the last two months of the season as one of the hottest hitters in baseball, batting .340 and slugging .541.

Long (21-62-.305, as a Cub) teamed with Banks (43-102, .285) and Walt Moryn (19-88-.289) to form one of the most potent trios in the NL in 1957, yet the Cubs were so talent-poor that they had a major-league-low 33 players in spring training, in 1958.24 Touted as a potential 100-RBI man, the 32-year-old Long avoided the streaks, both hot and cold, that had characterized his big-league career thus far; however, he also battled chronic pain in his back, which he had injured sliding into the dugout attempting to make a catch in late May.25 In what proved to be his final full season as a starter, Long batted .271-20-75 in 142 games. The Cubs led the majors with 182 round-trippers, yet even that lofty number did not translate into a winning season or a first-division finish. A level-headed, pragmatic player, Long scoffed at the notion that he was disinterested or lacked a burning fire to succeed, a critique that had dogged him in Pittsburgh. “A ballplayer is forced to pace himself at times so that he’s able to summon that extra reserve when the pressure’s on,” he said. “Some people interpret that as a lack of desire.”26 In the first game of a doubleheader against his former team on August 20 in the Windy City, Long might have had a fleeting nightmare about Branch Rickey and the Mahatma’s plan to make him a catcher. A series of events conspired to force Long to don the tools of ignorance, thus becoming the first southpaw backstop in the majors since 1902.27 The Cubs’ fifth option at catcher, Long moved from first base, kept the same mitt, and secured the final two outs on five pitches to preserve the Cubs’ 4-2 win.28 A similar situation occurred again on September 21 in Los Angeles. Long caught the ninth, though the results weren’t as good: he was charged with a passed ball and dropped a third strike, though he threw out the runner in a 2-1 defeat.

Long was the odd man out with the Cubs fighting to play .500 ball in mid-July of 1959. Removed as the primary first baseman in favor of Jim Marshall, he made only 11 starts from July 14 through the end of the season, collecting just 9 hits in 60 at-bats, punctuated by a horrendous September (1-for-25). Described by Tribune sportswriter Richard Dozier as one of skipper Scheffing’s “dog house boys,” the disgruntled veteran was the subject of fruitless offseason efforts by the Cubs to unload him.29 At the end of spring training, GM John Holland found a taker, and sold the 34-year-old to the San Francisco Giants on April 5, 1960.

Long’s final four seasons in the big leagues probably evoked memories of his way up the ladder. He was traded, released, sold, or drafted five times, and wore the colors of four different teams. Managing just 9 hits in 54 at-bats for the Giants, Long was sold to the New York Yankees on August 21. The Bronx Bombers, in a fierce three-way pennant race with the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox, wanted a power-hitting left-handed pinch-hitter to take advantage of Yankee Stadium. Long delivered. Playing for his first winning team as a big leaguer, he went 15-for-41 with 3 home runs, batted .366 and slugged .707. His final hit of the season was a walk-off two-run home run off Arnold Earley to give the pennant-winning Yankees a come-from-behind 8-7 victory over the Red Sox in the Bronx. In the David versus Goliath World Series, the heavily favored Yankees faced the Pirates. Long made three pinch-hit appearances and connected for a single in the ninth inning of Game Seven. He was eventually lifted for pinch-runner Gil McDougald, who scored the tying run. The game and the Series were decided in the bottom of the frame when Bill Mazeroski clouted his immortal home run to the amazement of the Forbes Field faithful.

Made available in the 1960 expansion draft, Long was chosen by the Washington Senators with the 28th overall pick. Counted on to be the club’s main source of power, Long got off to a slow start, hitting just .156 by the end of April. Defying expectations, the 35-year-old slugger found the fountain of youth. He tied his career best with three runs and four hits, including a double and home run, on May 27, kicking off a 13-game stretch in which he batted .360 and slugged .660. The Senators surprised baseball by playing .500 ball as late as June 15 before a 10-game skid revealed their true identity. Long, however, kept rolling, and emerged as one of the team’s most productive players along with Willie Tasby and Gene Green. After starting 77 of the club’s first 94 games and slugging a robust .500, Long was pulled from the order and made only 15 starts the rest of the season. While the press reported on rumors of Long’s imminent trade back to the Yankees, a look behind the scenes revealed Long’s dissatisfaction with losing and a troublesome relationship with skipper Mickey Vernon. By the end of August, team owner and President Elwood Quesada made national headlines by publicly chastising and fining Long, Tasby, and Green as malcontent loafers and disruptive to the team.30

Unable to unload Long in the offseason and with no other viable options at first, Washington brought the discontented veteran back in 1962. Like his team, Long struggled and then was finally traded to the Yankees for Don Lock on July 11. “Long is the kind of player any contending club can use,” said first-year Yankees manager Ralph Houk. “Dale is a powerful left-handed hitter and that’s good in our park.”31 On July 27, Long blasted a solo shot off Turk Lown in the 12th inning to give the Yankees a dramatic 4-3 victory over the White Sox. Given its forgiving right-field wall (314 feet down the first-base line), Yankee Stadium was tailor-made for the pull-hitting Long. One can only wonder what he could have accomplished had he played his career there. As a 36-year-old, he provided a punch, hitting .298 in 94 at-bats. The Bombers repelled challenges from the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels to capture their third straight pennant and faced the Giants in the World Series. In Game One Long replaced Moose Skowron at first base to start the seventh, then in the bottom of that frame sent Billy O’Dell’s first pitch into right field to drive in Roger Maris and give the Yankees a 4-2 lead in their eventual victory. He started Game Two and went 0-for-3 while Jack Sanford shut out the Yankees on three hits. Long did not see action again in the Series, which the Yankees took in seven games.

Long appeared in his third World Series in 1963, but not as a player. Released by the Yankees on August 2, he signed on as a bullpen coach. New York’s sluggers ran into the buzzsaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers and were swept in four games. “Playing for a winner in the twilight of a mediocre career,” said Long 20 years after retiring, “it feels real good.”32

Not yet ready to call it quits, Long attempted a comeback with the Cubs as a nonroster invitee in spring training in 1964. He subsequently had a brief stint with the Jacksonville Suns in the International League. Homerless in 24 Triple-A games, Long was released, ending a professional baseball career that spanned parts of 21 seasons. He finished with 132 homers and 467 runs batted in, and batted .267 in 10 big-league seasons; he also walloped 166 round-trippers in the minors.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Long bluntly about his transition to life after baseball.33 Unable to find a coaching or managing job, he sold sporting equipment and pharmaceuticals, operated a tavern in North Adams, Massachusetts, and became a minor-league umpire for several years, beginning in 1965.34 He also served as a TV sports commentator in northeastern New York and operated the Dale Long baseball camp in Rexford, New York. “I love baseball,” said Long, “but it really keeps you down. Everything in my house is related to the game. But you have to forget.”35 By the mid-1970s Dale found steady work with General Dynamics in Saratoga Springs, New York, building nuclear submarines in the company’s Electric Boat Division, and rose to the rank of supervisor.36 In the mid-1980s, he surprisingly returned to baseball and served as a field representative for the National Association, then the governing body of the minor leagues.

On January 27, 1994, Dale Long died at the age of 64 at Ormond Memorial Hospital, near his home in Palm Coast, Florida. He had been suffering from cancer. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy, and his two sons. A service was held at Light’s funeral home in Schenectady, and Long was buried at Cheshire cemetery, in Cheshire, Massachusetts.

 

Sources

In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author also accessed Retrosheet.org, Baseball-Reference.com, the SABR Minor Leagues Database, accessed online at Baseball-Reference.com, SABR.org, and The Sporting News archive via Paper of Record.

 

Notes

1 A child of the Depression Era, Dale moved around a lot. The following sources were valuable in piecing together his year prior to professional baseball: Cleon Walfoort, “Road From Green Bay to Homer Record Was Torturous for Long of Pirates,” Milwaukee Journal [undated article found in Long’s player file at the National Baseball Hall of Fame]; Charles Einstein, “‘Big Guy’ at Pittsburgh,” New York Times Magazine, June 10, 1958; Jack Rice, “Dale Long Liked Pro Football But Mom Said ‘No’; Pirates Star High on Bragan,” June 10, 1956 [unsourced article from Long’s player file.

2 “Dale Long to Join Milwaukee League Club Next Monday,” North Adams (Massachusetts) Transcript,” March 22, 1945: 8.

3 Gerald Tomlinson interview with Dale Long, SABR Oral History Collection. [Undated, 1980s].

4 Les Biederman, “Long-Range Plan by Rickey Behind Experiment on Long,” The Sporting News, March 21, 1951: 8.

5 Gerald Tomlinson interview with Dale Long.

6 “He’s Pulling for Yanks,” The Sporting News, August 26, 1953: 23.

7 “Former Slugger Dale Long Dies at 64,” Los Angeles Times, January 29, 1991.

8 Al Abrams, “Sidelights on Sports,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 1956: 22.

9 Jack Hernon, “Dale Long Stars in Fourth Straight,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 6, 1955: 25.

10 Les Biederman, “Hats Off!,” The Sporting News, June 22, 1955: 19.

11 Al Abrams, “Monday Morning’s Sports Wash,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 20, 1955: 20.

12 Al Abrams, “Trouble in the Balkans,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, July 6, 1955: 18. Long was easily the Pirates’ best player at the All-Star break. He led the team in home runs (9), RBIs (44), and batting average (.300); much better than the slashline for Frank Thomas (11/28/.214) who earned his second consecutive All-Star berth. Abrams admitted that the NL had two more deserving players at first base (the Reds’ Ted Kluszewski and the St. Louis Cardinals’ Stan Musial), while Thomas could join the senior circuit’s fly-chaser corps.

13 Jack Hernon, “Long Swats 436-Foot HR as Bucs Win, 6-0,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 24, 1956: 22.

14 Bill Madden and Jack Lang, “Dale Casts Long Eye on Mattingly,” New York Daily News. Undated article, 1987. [Player’s Hall of Fame file.

15 Lester J. Biederman, “32,000 Cheer Long’s Record No. 8,” Pittsburgh Press, May 29, 1956: 15.

16 “Duff Lauds Long on Senate Floor,” Pittsburgh Press, May 29, 1956: 15.

17 Walfoort.

18 Bill Madden and Jack Lang.

19 “Long Says ’56 Home Run Feat Boosted Income About $8,000,” The Sporting News, February 6, 1957: 29.

20 Les Biederman, “Long’s Homer Spree Also Had Drawback,” The Sporting News, March 13, 1957: 10.

21 Les Biederman, “Bucs Uneasy at First Base,” The Sporting News, March 27, 1957: 19.

22 Al Abrams, “Sidelights on Sports,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 22, 1957: 18.

23 Jack Rosenberg, “Long Story, Happy End,” Chicago Sunday Tribune Magazine, July 13, 1958: 29.

24 Edward J. Prell, “Cubs Have Few Clippings: Just Five Made Headlines,” The Sporting News, April 2, 1958: 16.

25 The Sporting News, June 4, 1958: 23.

26 Rosenberg.

27 The events leading to Long’s appearance were almost comical. Emergency fourth-string catcher Jim Bolger (who had never caught in the majors) pinch-hit for starter Sammy Taylor. With third-string catcher Moe Thacker out with a torn ligament in his knee, Cal Neeman replaced Taylor. With one out in the ninth, Neeman was tossed arguing balls and strikes. See “Dale Long First Lefty Catcher in Majors Since ’02,” The Sporting News, August 27, 1958: 15.

28 “Who’s on 1st? No Long, He’s Catching,” Chicago Tribune, August 21, 1958: F5.

29 Richard Dozier, “Cubs Hurlers in Shape to Open Camp,” Chicago Tribune, February 29, 1960: F3.

30 United Press International, “Slump Ridden Nats to Bench 3 Players,” Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania), August 31, 1961: 52.

31 Til Ferdenzi, “Houk Presses Soft Pedal on Yanks Runaway Chorus,” The Sporting News, July 28, 1962: 20.

32 Gerald Tomlinson interview with Dale Long.

33 “Dale Long,” Inside Sports, April 1981: 57.

34 Associated Press, “Dale Long Begins Road Back in Majors — As Ump,” The Record (Troy, New York), February 1, 1965: 26.

35 “Dale Long.”

36 “Where Are They Now?” 1979 Yankee Scorebook, 2nd edition. [Long’s Hall of Fame player file.

Full Name

Richard Dale Long

Born

February 6, 1926 at Springfield, MO (USA)

Died

January 27, 1991 at Palm Coast, FL (USA)

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