Vance George Dinges
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 175 lb.
- Debut April 17, 1945
- Final Game September 15, 1946
- Born May 29, 1915 in Elizabeth, NJ USA
- Died October 4, 1990 in Harrisonburg, VA USA
New jersey native Vance Dinges was signed as an amateur free agent by the Washington Senators before the 1938 season and played eleven seasons in professional baseball from 1938 to 1948. It would take the first baseman-outfielder eight seasons to get his opportunity in the big leagues. He would hit over .300 six times in his trip upstairs with a low of .307 in 1940 and a high of .367 in 1939. The Senators sent Vance to the Boston Red Sox in an unknown transaction late in 1941 and he was drafted by the Philadelphia Blue Jays from the Boston Red Sox in the November 1, 1944 Rule V Draft.
It took an average of .317 in 486 at-bats in 1944 in a combined season with the Scranton Miners of the class A Eastern League and the Louisville Colonels of the American Association before the 1945 Philadelphia Phillies took notice and invited him aboard. The luckless Phillies finished a distant eighth in the 1945 race with a 46-108 record but Vance showed well, playing both the outfield and first base positions and hitting at a .287 clip in 109 games and 397 at-bats. However he had just one home run and 15 doubles in his extra base production and the hand-writing was on the wall.
Vance was up and down with the Phillies in 1946 splitting time between the Utica Blue Sox of the Eastern League where he hit just .246 in 41 games with no homers and the Shibe Park boys where he was at the first base spot and managed 104 at-bats and 32 base-hits for a .308 average. Again Vance had only one four-bagger in his production. The Phillies moved up to a fifth place finish with a 69-85 record and Dinges would finish up his career in the minors.
Dinges spent 1947 with the Utica club again and hit a solid .288 in 483 at-bats and 134 games but again not a single homer. 1948 was coming up and Vance was 33 years old and he took the job as player manager for the Salina Blue Jays of the class C Western Association. The Salina club finished a distant seventh with a 58-80 record, 32 games in arrears. Vance played in 121 games, hit at a .299 clip and finally hit two home runs.
Vance called it a career after 1,067 minor league games and almost 4,000 at-bats and an adjusted .310 batting average. After baseball Vance became a salesman at a Chevrolet dealership and later he became steward at the Harrisonburg, VA Moose Lodge. Vance died at the Liberty House Nursing Home in Harrisonburg from complications of Alzheimer's disease after being ill ten years. He was 75 years of age.