Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dirt, The Pitcher

I can't let any discussion of dirt go without mentioning Dick Tidrow, aka "Dirt."

I've said it before, but that has to be one of the best nicknames in all of baseball. Tidrow was a grind-em out kind of pitcher, and that nickname fit him to a tee. He had bushy eyebrows, that big mustache and long floppy hair. He looked like Dirt.

DIrt came to the Cubs from the Yankees in May of 1979. While with the Yankees, Tidrow had been used in the bullpen for three seasons. But in 1978 they put him back in the starting rotation. That didn't work out to well, as he had a Slurpee season, going 7-11.

The Cubs sent him back to the bullpen and there he flourished. He went 11-5 in 1979 and pitched a league high 84 games in 1980. He was used primarily as a set-up man for Bruce Sutter and that worked quite well.

When Sutter was traded after the 1980 season, Tidrow took over as the closer. That didn't work well at all, as he slipped to 3-10 and his ERA skyrocketed over 5. His last season with the Cubs was 1982 and he returned to the setup role, and again had success, going 8-3 with a 3.39 ERA.

Here's a few more cards of Dirt

1982 Team Issue

1981 Fleer, it looks like he's fraternizing with the enemy by the batting cage.

This is his final Topps card, from 1983. He looks a little too clean shaven for me, starting to lose that "Dirt" look. He didn't pitch for the Cubs in 1983, as he was sent across town to the White Sox in exchange for, among others, Steve Trout.

That would make it Dirt for Rainbow.


  1. That was a great nickname! The APBA baseball game cards had nicknames on them. It was fun to see what some of those nicknames were. Larvell "Sugar Bear" Blanks, Keith "Zonk" Moreland, Rick "Sponge Head" Cerone, the list goes on and on. :)

  2. The nickname came not just because he looked like Dirt, but a specific Dirt - Mr. Dirt, a character in Mobil commercials in the 1970s.