Written by Jim Amato (Contact & Archive) on June 05, 2008
There were certain pichers as I was growing up whose performances were so dominating that they left an indelible mark on my memory. Of course Sandy Koufax leads the list but Bob Gibson, Juan Marichal, Denny McLain, Whitey Ford, Don Drysdale, Jim Maloney and Sam McDowell left quite an impression too.
There was one relief pitcher who I will never forget. He broke in with the Boston Red Sox in 1962 and in his first three seasons he was nothing short of remarkable. He was so intimidating on the mound that Mickey Mantle himself called him " The Monster ". His name was Dick Radatz. At 6' 5' and 235 pounds Radatz was a very large man in that era of baseball. He could sure overpower the hitters he faced. In his rookie season Radatz appeared in 62 games and worked 124.2 innings. He fanned 144 batters and ended up with a won - lost record of 9 - 6. He also picked up 24 saves. This was only the beginning.It was about to get better.
In 1963 Radatz walked to the mound 66 times. He logged in 132.1 innings and whiffed 162 hitters. Dick went 15-6 and racked up 25 saves. In 1964 Radatz has a " monster " year. He was called to the mound on 79 occasions and won 16 contests. Radatz battled through 157 innings and he recorded another 29 saves.
From 1962 through 1964, Radatz put up Hall Of Fame numbers. In 207 games pitched, Dick threw 424 innings.He won 40 and saved 78. During the three year period Radatz mowed down 487 batters and only allowed 100 earned runs. Very impressive indeed.
Radatz would come to Cleveland to finish the the 1966 season and play a few games in 1967 before moving on to the Chicago Cubs. Radatz would appear next in Detroit and finish his seven year career at Montreal in 1969.