Monday, September 23, 2019

Dick Kelley (#203)

Dick Kelley was signed by the Milwaukee Braves in 1959, and made his major-league debut on April 15, 1964. In that game he had the misfortune of giving up 4 earned runs while facing 5 batters (2 hits, 3 walks) but recording no outs, so his zero innings pitched resulted in the dreaded ERA of "infinity".

He spent the rest of the 1964 season in triple A, then returned to pitch 2 innings on the final day of the season. His no-hit/no-runs/no-walks performance LOWERED his ERA for the season to 18.00.

Aside from the rocky 1964, Kelley pitched 6 more seasons in the majors (1965-71). In 1966 and 1969 he was primarily a starter, and a reliever for the other years. (He missed the 1970 season.)

Kelley divided his time between the Braves and their AAA team in '65 and '66.

He pitched 98 innings for the Braves in both 1967 and 1968, but that was not enough of an impression to keep him off the expansion draft list. The Padres selected him in the post-1968 draft.

Dick started 23 of his 27 games for the Padres in 1969, and posted career-highs in innings (136) and strikeouts (96). He must have been injured in 1970, because he did not play for the Padres, and only played 1 game for their triple-A team.

Kelley returned to the Padres in 1971 as a reliever, and made 48 appearances (a career high) in his final season.

He pitched 9 games for the Rangers’ AAA team in 1972, before retiring.

Kelley passed away in 2001 at age 51.

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