2010 I-70 Hall Of Legends Inductee: Dan Quisenberry

A lot of wonderful things have been written about Dan Quisenberry, including this recent post from our own John Lofflin. Rather than attempt another profile that would pale in comparison, I’ve composed a sort of cut-and-paste homage with some of the best quotes and numbers regarding the Quiz.

Daniel Raymond Quisenberry (“Quiz”)

Born: February 7, 1953 in Santa Monica, CA
Height: 6′ 2″, Weight: 170 lb.
School: Orange Coast College, University of La Verne

As an Orange Coast College Pirate

Quisenberry “attracted very little interest from pro scouts after high school, and his time at Orange Coast didn’t draw much more interest…Though he had been a starting pitcher in college, he didn’t have the ‘stuff’ to be a dominant starter in the big leagues.” –Paul Lanning

Signed: by the Kansas City Royals as an amateur free agent in 1975

“I knew I had limited talent. I was just happy I could play minor league baseball for two or three years and figure out what I wanted to do in life.”—Dan Quisenberry (as quoted by Heather Henderson)

MLB Debut: July 8, 1979

Quisenberry did not develop his signature submarine delivery until 1980 spring training at the recommendation of Royals manager Jim Frey. “I found a delivery in my flaw,” Quiz said.

“He could throw strikes at will, with a good sinking fastball, and get a lot of ground balls.”—John Wathan

“No relief pitcher had as dominant a run as Dan Quisenberry did from 1980 to 1985. And we mean no one.”—Pat Abdalla

Royals Career Stats (Team Rank Among Pitchers):
25.2 rWAR (4)
2.55 ERA (1)
161 ERA+ (1)
1.15 WHIP (2)
1.36 BB/9IP (1)
573 GP (2)
238 Saves (2)
21.6 Win Probability Added (2)

Favorite thing about baseball: “No homework.” (10/12/98 Sports Illustrated)

July 4, 1988: Released by the Kansas City Royals
July 14, 1988
: Signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Cardinals.
96 games played with the Cardinals, 3.79 ERA, 95 ERA+
October 11, 1989: Released by the St. Louis Cardinals.
January 28, 1990: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Francisco Giants.
5 games played with the Giants, 13.50 ERA, 29 ERA+
Final Game:
April 23, 1990

Delightful articles penned for Sports Illustrated reviewing MLB bullpens: one
Review of Royals Stadium bullpen: “Good view. Good amenities (for one, you have access to a water hose, which is a big plus, especially on hot days when you can hose down the fans). And good entertainment: Royals Stadium has these interesting beetles that we call Mingoris—after a Royals relief pitcher, Steve Mingori, a nice man who was not, shall we say, a very attractive man.”

In spite of his peculiar delivery, Quisenberry had historically great control. In 1043 innings, Quisenberry threw FOUR wild pitches. He surrendered walks and home runs at impossibly low rates.

“There has never been a pitcher who made fewer mistakes than Dan Quisenberry.”—Bill James

“He called his fastball Peggy Lee after her song ‘Is That All There Is?’ But he also once told the writer Roger Angell: ‘I’ve always felt that when I throw it something wonderful is going to happen.’”—Joe Posnanski

3x All-Star
5x Finisher in Top 5 For Cy Young Award
5x AL Saves Leader

“I want to thank all the pitchers who couldn’t go nine innings, and manager Dick Howser for not letting them.”—Dan Quisenberry

Career 147 ERA+ is Sixth All-Time
(min. 1000 IP or 100 decisions)

Post-baseball endeavor: poetry

“Switch Hitter” (excerpt)
learned so much
discovered nothing

i yearn for the attention, the dance of the big game
it was p.r. events that were meaningless, roars with no passion

i want a hat that tells me who I belong to
the logos were from cities i wasn’t from

the game sings its siren song for my soul
i’m a mercenary who wants peace

i don’t need another word of it
i’m synonymous with it

i’ve seen enough, heard enough
wonder who they’re playing tonight?

Brain cancer diagnoses: one
Inducted into Royals Hall of Fame:
May 30, 1998
September 30, 1998 in Leawood, KS
Buried: Mount Moriah Cemetery, Kansas City, MO

Memorial tree planted across from Kauffman Stadium: 1999
Memorial tree mistakenly removed by Missouri DOT: 2010

Hall of Fame Case: Fair to strong. It’s hard to judge relievers. But one thing is clear (as Joe Posnanski is fond of pointing out): if Bruce Sutter is a Hall of Famer, then so is Quiz.

Stats and info sourced from Baseball-Reference.com

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