Danny Cater

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Danny Anderson Cater

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Biographical Information[edit]

“What’s talking got to do with it? What’s hollering got to do with it? Quiet? The idea’s to do it with your bat and glove, not with your mouth. Talk’s cheap.” - Danny Cater, on his style, to Milton Gross, 1970

Danny Cater was a good average, low on-base percentage hitter during a 12-year career played largely in a deadball era. In "The Year of the Pitcher", 1968, he finished second to Carl Yastrzemski in the American League batting race, hitting .290 when the league hit .230.

The Appalachian League Rookie of the Year with the Johnson City Phillies in 1958, Cater broke into the bigs hitting .296/.325/.388 in limited action with the doomed Philadelphia Phillies squad of 1964. He came up as a shortstop, moving to left field the following season, having been dealt to the Chicago White Sox in December. He belted a career best 14 home runs in 1965 but really came into his own when he joined the Kansas City Athletics, bridging the gap from Kansas City to Oakland while seeing regular action at both infield corners. He belted 10 home runs and drove in 76 runs in 1969, moving to the New York Yankees and hitting .301 with 76 more RBI in 1970.

After the 1971 season, Cater was acquired by the Boston Red Sox. The Sox gave up Mario Guerrero and pitcher Sparky Lyle in return. Lyle was a very good reliever, having saved 69 games in his five seasons with Boston, but it was considered worth it as Cater had the aura of a star. However, Lyle was even better with is new team, winning a Cy Young Award while becoming one of the top relievers in the majors. As for Cater, while he hit .313/.348/.390 in 1973, he did so as a bench bat, appearing in only 63 games with his playing time going to better hitting options such as "Yaz" and Orlando Cepeda, so in retrospect the trade is one Red Sox fans rue to this day. Cater hung around as a bit player until 1975, a season split between Boston and the St. Louis Cardinals. When his playing career ended, he joined the Syracuse Chiefs as a coach.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Brian C. Engelhardt: "Danny Cater", in Mel Marmer and Bill Nowlin, eds.: The Year of Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 68-74. ISBN 978-1-933599-51-9

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