Del Rice

A brainy and gifted defensive catcher, Rice made up for his poor hitting and lack of speed (two stolen bases in 17 years) with his arm, glove, and handling of pitchers. He had some home run power (12 homers in 1947, 11 in 1952), but several batting-stance changes failed to raise his average. Rice was Bob Buhl’s “personal catcher” on the Braves in the late 1950s; Buhl regularly beat the Dodgers, Milwaukee’s main rivals in several close pennant races. In 1971 he was TSN Minor League Manager of the Year when he led Salt Lake City to the Pacific Coast League pennant, but he couldn ‘t get the Angels out of fifth place when given a ML club the next year.