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Former Cubs pitcher Dick Tidrow dies at 74

The righthander had some good years out of the pen in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Photo by Rich Pilling/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Dick Tidrow was a stalwart out of the Cubs bullpen from 1979-82. He also pitched for the Yankees, Mets, White Sox and Cleveland and then spent 28 years in various roles in the Giants front office.

Per KNBR, Tidrow passed away last Saturday:

On behalf of the Tidrow Family, the San Francisco Giants today announced that Senior Advisor to the President of Baseball Operations Dick Tidrow passed away unexpectedly on Saturday in Lee’s Summit, MO. He was 74 years old.

Tidrow had several good years for the Yankees, winning a World Series ring in 1977 and 1978. The Cubs acquired him from New York in May 1979 for Ray Burris, and he immediately put up good numbers as a setup man for Bruce Sutter. In 1979 he appeared in 63 games for the Cubs, posting a 2.72 ERA, 1.247 WHIP and 3.1 bWAR. The following year, he tied Ted Abernathy’s franchise record for games pitched (84) and had a 2.79 ERA, 1.293 WHIP and 2.5 bWAR. That record for games pitched still stands; it was tied again by Bob Howry in 2006.

Tidrow wasn’t quite as good in 1981 and 1982 and after the 1982 season he was included in the trade to the White Sox that brought Steve Trout to the Cubs.

Tidrow was nicknamed “Dirty Dick” or “Dirtman” and not because of any nefarious things he did on or off the mound, but because of his Fu Manchu mustache and unshaven look:

Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

Overall as a Cub, Tidrow pitched in 263 games with a 3.36 ERA, 1.300 WHIP and 5.6 bWAR in a little less than four seasons, good numbers for a setup man in that era, and as noted above, he became an important part of the Giants front office for nearly three decades:

“Dick was a unique and special person whose influence and impact was legendary throughout the game and whose fingerprints are all over our three World Series trophies,” said Giants Executive Vice President and Senior Advisor Brian Sabean. “On a personal level, we shared some incredible highs and lows together and I’m forever grateful for his 40 years of friendship and support.”

There isn’t a lot of video available from Tidrow’s Cubs career, but here’s a play where he (with help from a great defensive play from Larry Biittner) retires Lou Brock on September 3, 1979:

I’ll remember that sidearm motion and the good numbers he put up as a Cubs reliever. Sincere condolences to his friends, family and fans.