Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Rick Stelmaszek Files: Part 21

It's been a while since I have delved into the Rick Stelmaszek Files.  Recently, I found a bunch of old pictures, which I will be featuring sporadically here.
The first picture is from a Denver Bears game and features pitcher Dick Such, Manager Del Wilber and catcher Stelmaszek.  The picture seems to be from 1971, when all three were together on the Bears.
The Bears were the AAA affiliate of the Texas Rangers.  Several future big leaguers were on the team, including Jeff Burroughs, Bill Fahey, Larry Biittner, Joe Lovitto and Such and Stelmaszek, of course.  In summary, 29 of the 35 players played in the majors at some point.  In 1971, Such went 5-5, while Stelmaszek hit .247 for the Bears.
Wilber was a catcher who appeared in the majors from 1946-1949 and 1951-1954.  He managed for a while in the minors and coached in the majors.  He actually managed one game for the 1973 Rangers, a team which featured Stelmaszek as a backup catcher.
Such made it to the bigs in 1970, but spent the rest of his career (1966-'73) in the minors for the Rangers.  Stelmaszek and Such would be teammates a few times and would also reunite on the coaching staff of the Minnesota Twins 
I love these old pictures and the stories behind them.  In the pre-internet days, these pictures are rare.  Finding them now is like finding baseball gold.
Dick Such, Del Wilber and Rick Stelmaszek-1971.

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