There are many players with D.D. as their initials like: Doug Dascenzo, Darren Daulton, Doug DeCinces and Delino DeSheilds. There are old-timers Dizzy Dean and Dom Dimaggio. And I could not forget to mention Doug Drabek, Dan Driessen or Dave Duncan.
But D.D. is more complicated than that. I sort of wanted to present, Dave DeBusschere but . . . . . . he is more of a NBA star. One of only eleven (11) other players to play in both the MLB and the NBA, DeBusschere did pitch for the Chicago White Sox in 1962 and 1963, going 3-4 with a .290 ERA. DeBusschere really made his mark as an NBA star for twelve (12) years playing and coaching for the Detroit Pistons and N Y Knickerbockers. An eight (8) time NBA all-star and elected to the NBA Hall of Fame in 1983 Debusschere would certainly have been a good choice.
But D.D. is a struggle for me because there is also Dodger (Brooklyn and Los Angeles) great Don Drysdale.
The 1962 Cy Young winner, played 14 years going 209-166, Drysdale was one of the greatest pitchers of his day. I will leave it at that, since there are so many Dodger bloggers out there I could not do Drysdale justice.
But those two aside my pick as my "favorite" D.D. is . . . . Dave Dravecky !
For those of you who remember, Dravecky was a solid starting pitcher for the Padres and Giants for the better part of eight years (1982-89) having a career record of 64-57. However, Dravecky's career will always be remembered for that one day in July of 1989, pitching for the Giants, in the sixth inning facing Tim Raines . . . when his arm and body went forward to pitch and his humerus bone broke - right there on the mound, his arm breaks and he is writhing on the mound in excruciating pain. This was after a tremendous fight and successful return from cancer in October of 1988 and bouncing back to pitch in the majors in less than a year.
The Giants went on to win the pennant in 1989 and in the post-game celebration Dravecky would break his arm again and during the examination doctors would notice the cancer had returned. Just three weeks later Dravecky would retire from baseball. That year he would earn the Willie Mac award for courageous spirit and leadership.
What makes Dravecky a personal choice for me is two things: one he is a cancer survivor and a battler (need I say more) yet secondly is that on July 18, 1991, after two more surgeries, his arm and shoulder were amputated -the exact same day (almost to the minute) as my daughter was born.
Dravecky has gone on to be an author and motivational speaker as well as my favorite D.D.