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12/9/07 This Day in Washington Baseball History...

The Continuing Attempt To Educate A Montreal Fan About DC Baseball History...

     On December 9, 1944, in the town once known as "The Pride of the Prairie," Decatur, Illinois, Delbert Bernard "Del" Unser was born to Albert Bernard Unser, during the third of four Major League seasons the elder Unser played with the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds. Twenty-two years later, in the 1st Round of the June Secondary Phase of the 1966 Amateur Draft, the Washington Senators selected Del Unser, out of Mississippi State University, with the 18th pick overall.

     Two years later, in 1968, Del Unser debuted with the Senators on April 10, in Robert F. Kennedy Stadium against the same Minnesota Twins franchise that had once called DC their home, with Unser going 1 for 4 in the leadoff spot and playing center field against Harmon Killebrew and the Twins.  

     Del Unser wore the #30 with Washington, and over four years in the Nation's capital, Unser played in 581 games for the Senators, hitting in 543 of 2,119 at bats for a .256 AVG with 22 triples, 22 HR's and 158 RBI's, while playing the outfield alongside Washington baseball legend Frank Howard.

     Traded to Cleveland in 1971 as the second Senators team left DC, (with this one becoming the Texas Rangers), Del Unser played just one season with the Indians before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with Minor Leaguer Terry Wedgewood for Oscar Gamble and Roger Freed. Two seasons later, Unser was again moved to the New York Mets in a deal that brought Tug McGraw to Philadelphia, and two years after that the Mets traded Unser, in 1976, along with Wayne Garrett, to the Montreal Expos for outfielder Jim "Pig Pen" Dwyer and Jose Manuel "Pepe" Mangual.

     Del Unser's career as an Expo lasted just 182 games, over which the then-thirty-one year-old outfielder hit .256 with 20 doubles, 3 triples, 19 HR's and 55 RBI's in the outfield and as a first baseman alongside Expos legends Warren Cromartie, Andre Dawson, and Gary Carter.

     Unser left Montreal as a free agent in 1978, returning to the Philadelphia Phillies where he played four more seasons before retiring from the Majors. Del Unser's final game on June 6, 1982 was played on a Philadelphia team that was managed by former Phillies' Manager and current Washington Nationals' bench coach Pat Corrales.

    In 15 Major League seasons, Delbert Bernard "Del" Unser hit for a combined .258 AVG with 179 doubles, 42 triples, 87 HR's and 481 RBI's. (Del Unser's father, Al Unser, hit .251, with 15 doubles, 4 triples, 4 HR's and 30 RBI's from 1942-1945).

*Del Unser Links*

Del Unser's stats at baseball-reference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/u/unserde01.shtml

Al Unser's stats at baseball-reference.com:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/u/unseral01.shtml

Results of Round 1 of the June Secondary Phase of the 1966 MLB Amateur Draft courtesy of thebaseballcube.com:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/draft/1966/Round-1-2.shtml

Del Unser's stats at baseball-almanac.com:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=unserde01