Friday, July 29, 2011

Dan Driessen

Former Big Red Machine first baseman Dan Driessen turns 60 years old today. He made his Major League debut on June 9,1973 batting between Tony Perez and Dave Concepcion after batting .409 at AAA Indianapolis. Though he started as a third-baseman when he joined the Reds in 1973, he would later move to 1b, where he would remain until he retired after the 1987 season at the age of 35 after having played all of his 15 seasons in the National Leauge. That first season in 1973, Driessen finished 3rd in rookie of the year voting in the NL.

"The Cobra" performed well in his first 3 seasons in Cincinnati allowing the Reds to make room for him by moving Tony Perez to Montreal. Ironically, though Driessen would be a fixture at first base for the Reds for 12 seasons, he would also be traded to Montreal in 1984. Driessen, a left-handed hitter, was a steady performer who could do everything well. He hit 18 homers in 1979, stole 31 bases in 1977 and he batted over .300 twice. He even led the NL in fielding 3 times at 1b. Throughout his career, Driessen walked more than he struck out and had a lot of stolen bases for a first baseman (154 total).

He would win 2 World Series with the Reds and he became the first National League DH in a World Series in 1976 with the Cincinnati Reds.

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