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Chase Riddle

From BR Bullpen

Charles Ludy Riddle

BR minors page

Biographical Infomation[edit]

Catcher/third baseman Chase Riddle played 18 years in the minor leagues, managed for 12 and would go on to scout for the St. Louis Cardinals into the late '70s. He twice won two-thirds of a Triple Crown as a hitter. Starring in the low minors, he was an all-around player.

Riddle debuted in 1943 and played for three teams that year - the Batavia Clippers (.263/~.364/.363 in 45 games), the Roanoke Red Sox (.167/~.259/.208 in 13 games) and Allentown Wings (.190/~.254/.259 in 14 games). He then missed two seasons, serving in the US Navy during World War II.

Chase returned in 1946, again appearing for three separate cities. He was with the Tarboro Tars (.349/?/.510 in 28 games), Oneonta Red Sox (9 for 32, 3 BB in 10 games) and Durham Bulls (12 for 41, 18 total bases in 19 games). In 1947, Riddle played for Tarboro (.269, 4 HR, 17 RBI) and Oneonta (.272, 1 HR, 38 RBI). He split 1948 between Durham (.295, 18 RBI) and the Harrisburg Senators (.305, 2 HR, 24 RBI).

In 1949, Riddle was with the Williamsport Tigers, hitting .245 with 4 HR and 21 RBI. The next year, he was an All-American fullback in college. On the field in baseball with Durham, he hit .274/~.347/.427 in 90 games.

Riddle became a player-manager in 1951 and hit .375 with 7 HR and 81 RBI for the Ozark Eagles, dominating D ball. He also went 5-1 on the mound. He was second in the Alabama-Florida League in average, fourth in home runs and fifth in RBI.

The next year, Riddle piloted Ozark to a title and helped out at the plate, hitting .331/~.439/.501. He stole 39 bases and scored 100 runs while driving in 85. The backstop led the AFL in steals that season. On the hill, he was 3-3 with a 5.61 ERA.

In 1953, Riddle played for and managed the Panama City Fliers. He tore up the AFL again with a .411/~.507/.690 batting line. He led the league in average, runs (131), RBI (125), steals (44), hits (179), total bases (301) and slugging and was second in home runs (25), two shy of a Triple Crown campaign. He fielded .950 at third base, the best in the league of anyone with 10+ games there, and .977 at his primary position of catcher, the best of anyone with 40+ games. He fielded just .907 in the outfield. Riddle was 1-3 with a 6.32 ERA as a pitcher.

As player-manager for the 1954 Galveston White Caps, Chase batted .352 with 10 HR and 42 RBI and was 1-0 as a pitcher. He was sold in mid-June and hit .239 with 4 RBI for the Dallas Eagles. In 1955, the veteran was back in his old haunts in the AFL. He managed the Dothan Cardinals, pitched for them (3-1, 3.00) and hit for them (.316, 19 HR, 75 RBI). He tied for fifth in the league in home runs.

The 1956 season saw Chase with the Albany Cardinals, hitting .353 with 24 HR and 142 RBI while managing them. He led the Georgia-Florida League in average and RBI and trailed only Bob Wellman in home runs. In 1957, Riddle returned to Albany and batted .322/~.440/.520 while managing them to a title. He was 4th in the GFL in average and tied Michael Fandozzi for the league lead with 27 doubles. He was third with 19 home runs, second with 107 runs, third with 32 stolen bases and drew 99 walks (tied for 9th). He led the league in slugging percentage and was possibly second in OBP behind only Fandozzi.

Riddle's last year playing regularly was 1958, when he hit .309 with 14 HR and 88 RBI for the Billings Mustangs and was 0-1 with a 4.78 ERA on the mound. He saw limited time on the field from 1959-1962, primarily as a pitcher; he went 1-4 as a pitcher during this period. Eventually he was a manager only, then a scout. He signed Jose Cruz Sr. and Willie Montanez.

After pro ball, Riddle moved to the college ranks. Riddle accumulated a record of 434-147-2 in his 12-year coaching career at Troy State University (1979-1990) [1]. He led the Trojans to two Division II National Championships, as well as five Gulf South Conference titles. The school plays at Riddle-Pace Field.

Sources include Riddle profile at AFL site, Pat Doyle's Professional Baseball Player Database, Baseball Guides from 1945, 1947, 1951, 1953, 1954 and 1958

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1951 Ozark Eagles Alabama-Florida League none replaced by Warner Jones August 2
1952 Ozark Eagles Alabama-Florida League 77-37 1st none League Champs
1953 Panama City Fliers Alabama-Florida League 69-47 1st Shreveport Sports Lost in 1st round
1954 Galveston White Caps Big State League 33-36 -- Dallas Eagles -- replaced by Henry Robinson (40-37) on June 22
1955 Dothan Cardinals Alabama-Florida League 65-54 3rd St. Louis Cardinals Lost in 1st round
1956 Albany Cardinals Georgia-Florida League 70-68 4th St. Louis Cardinals none
1957 Albany Cardinals Georgia-Florida League 84-55 1st St. Louis Cardinals League Champs
1958 Billings Mustangs Pioneer League 56-72 7th St. Louis Cardinals
1959 Winnipeg Goldeyes Northern League 80-41 1st St. Louis Cardinals League Champs
1960 Winston-Salem Red Birds Carolina League 61-76 5th St. Louis Cardinals
1961 Lancaster Red Roses Eastern League 60-80 5th St. Louis Cardinals none
1962 Portsmouth-Norfolk Tides South Atlantic League 55-85 7th St. Louis Cardinals