December 30 – Happy Birthday Dick Porter

It took this native of Princess Anne, MD eight years to climb through the Cleveland farm system and make it to the big show. When he finally did make the jump in 1929, he was more than ready. Porter hit over .300 in each of his first four seasons with the Indians and became a regular in their outfield. In 1930, while appearing in just 113 games, Porter scored 100 runs, hit 43 doubles and batted .350. When Porter was in the batters box every part of his body was in a state of perpetual motion until just before the pitcher delivered the ball. This hitting style earned him the nicknames “Twitches” and “Wiggles” during his playing days.

Porter slumped at the plate in 1933, hitting just .267. On May 25th of the following season, the Red Sox were in the middle of a game in Cleveland in which they were getting pummeled by the Tribe, when Boston GM Eddie Collins made a deal to acquire Cleveland pitcher Wes Farrell and Porter for Red Sox pitcher Bob Weiland, outfielder Bobby Seeds and some cash. The key reason the trade was made was because the Red Sox wanted to unite Farrell with his older brother Rick, who was Boston’s starting catcher. It turned out to be a great transaction for the Red Sox because Ferrell pitched brilliantly in Bean Town for the next fours seasons. Porter also played well for Boston after the trade. In 79 games he hit .303 and drove in 56 runs, helping the Red Sox reach the .500 mark in 1934 for the first time in 15 years. But the following year, Boston started a whole new outfield and released Porter. By then, he was 33-years-old so when the opportunity to manage in the minors presented itself, Porter grabbed it and never again played in a big league ball game.

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