He was mostly a relief pitcher in the 60′s and 70′s who then had a long career as a pitching coach. Dal Canton was the a rarity on a couple of fronts,- He was discovered at a tryout camp by the Pirates and Bruce was a Knuckleball pitcher. I certainly saw Dal Canton pitch during his career but remember little except his throwing the knuckler. RIP
Dal Canton died Tuesday of esophageal cancer. He worked until mid-May as the pitching coach at Class A Myrtle Beach, Atlanta’s affiliate in the Carolina League.
Dal Canton went 51-49 with a 3.67 ERA from 1967 to 1977 with Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Atlanta and the Chicago White Sox.
The right-hander was used as both a starter and reliever, and found his best success with a knuckleball — the darting pitch that also made him the 1974 American League leader in wild pitches with 16.
Before the Braves faced Pirates knuckleballer Tim Wakefield in the 1992 National League championship series, they brought in the 50-year-old Dal Canton to throw batting practice.
Dal Canton spent more than 25 years in the Atlanta system as a pitching coach, and had been at Myrtle Beach since 1999.
In June 1990, when Bobby Cox took over as manager of the Braves, Leo Mazzone replaced Dal Canton as their pitching coach.
“We used to room together in spring training in West Palm Beach. I’d bring in some Iron City beer and we had good times,” Mazzone said Thursday.
“He really liked working with young pitchers and did a real good job,” Mazzone said. “He could’ve moved up from Myrtle Beach, but he liked it down there. He told me he’d rather retire than leave.”
Dal Canton was born and grew up near Pittsburgh and was a star at California University (Pa.). He did not attract a lot of attention from big league scouts, however, and went to work as a high school teacher and coach.
In the mid-1960s, Dal Canton went to a Pirates’ tryout camp, hoping for one last chance at a baseball career. The Pirates signed him and he made his major league debut with them in 1967.
Dal Canton went 8-2 with Pittsburgh in 1969 and then 9-4 with the 1970 NL East champions. After that season, the Pirates traded him with Freddie Patek to Kansas City. He was 8-10 for the Royals in 1974 and pitched his only two career shutouts.
- Former MLB pitcher Dave Roberts dead at 64
- Pirates Reach Historic Lows
- Pittsburgh Sports Fan in Non-Football Season
- Former Pittsburgh Pirate IF Pete Castiglione dead at 89
- Our Long National Nightmare is Over
- Former NFL and NCAA Coach Lou Saban dead at 87
- Former MLB Pitcher Johnny Sain dead at 89
- Former Dodger pitcher Clem Labine dead at age 80
- Pitcher Shawn Chacon arrested on gambling debt related charges
- Braves Re-Sign Franco, Ship to Single A
- Eight is Enough- Edmonton beats Chicago 8-4
- Lydia Ko wins New South Wales Open
- The Comeback I- Pittsburgh Penguins beat NY Islanders 5-0
- Seattle Mariners Outfielder Greg Halman stabbed to death at age 24
- Hee Young Park wins CME Titleholders Championship
- Oklahoma State Women’s Basketball Coach Kurt Budke dead at 50
- Costly mistake- Blackhawks waive Rostislav Olesz
- Manager Tony La Russa announces retirement
- Puck Drop- Florida Panthers start the 2011-12 NHL season
- 13-time PGA Tour winner Dave Hill dead at 74
Comments are Closed