Signing for $90,000 in 1963, Dietz and his roommate, fellow bonus catcher Randy Hundley,
became known as "The Gold Dust Twins." Called up late in 1966, he hit a 410-foot
homer off Sandy Koufax. Playing just 56 games in 1967, he was named the Topps all-star
rookie catcher, but didn't become a regular until 1970. That
year, he peaked in every
offensive category (.300, 22 HR, 107 RBI), and homered in the ninth inning of the
All-Star Game. Beaned in mid-1971, Dietz played down the stretch in a tight race
with L.A. with his head heavily bandaged. When the Giants clinched, Dietz grabbed
a radio microphone to shout, "The Dodgers can go to hell!" Because of a clerical
error, the Giants lost Dietz to the Dodgers in 1972, but he broke his finger in his
first start for Los Angeles.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 31, 1968: Don Drysdale's shutout streak apparently ends when Dick Dietz is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and no outs in the 9th inning, but umpire Harry Wendelstedt rules Dietz did not try to avoid the pitch. Coach Herman Franks argues the call so long he is tossed by Wendelstedt. Dietz then pops out, and the next two batters make out. Los Angeles wins, 3–0, and Drysdale's 5th straight shutout ties the major-league record set in 1904 by Doc White.
»April 26, 1970:
Willie McCovey and Dick Dietz each hit grand slams as the Giants beat the Expos 11–1 in the first game of a doubleheader. This is a first in Giants history. McCovey adds another homer to back McCormick's win. The Expos take the 2nd game, 3–2. Bobby Wine chips in by catching Willie Mays with the hidden ball trick (as noted by Bill Deane).
»July 14, 1970: At Riverfront Stadium, the National League wins its 8th straight All-Star Game, a thrilling 12-inning 5–4 victory in Cincinnati. Pete Rose crashes into Cleveland catcher Ray Fosse to score the controversial winning run on Jim Hickman's single. Fosse, who never had the ball, hurts his right shoulder and is taken to the hospital. The game is scoreless until the 6th, with the NL limited to three hits in the first eight innings. In the 9th, the NL tees off on Catfish Hunter, driving in three runs to tie. Dick Dietz hits a leadoff home run in the inning. Claude Osteen pitches the 10th for the win.
»June 9, 1971: Expo Steve Renko pitches the first of two one-hitters of the season. He beats the Giants 4–0 exactly a month before he will top the Phillies 3–0. Dick Dietz's single is the only hit.