Dale Long

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Richard Dale Long

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Biographical Information[edit]

Dale Long was a solid major league first baseman who is best remembered for two notable achievements. In 1956, en route to a career-best 27 home runs and 91 RBIs, Long set a Major League record by homering in eight consecutive games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, breaking the previous record of six, shared by Ken Williams (1922), George Kelly (1924), Lou Gehrig (1931), Walker Cooper (1947) and Willie Mays (1955). More than three decades later, Long's record was tied by American Leaguers Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993), but has never been topped; as of 2024, he retains sole possession of the National League mark.

Long broke into the majors with the Pirates in 1951 and also played for the St. Louis Browns that year, then was out of the majors until coming back with Pittsburgh in 1955.

Long's other notoriety is this: he was one of the last left-handed catchers in the major leagues. He caught in two games for the Chicago Cubs in 1958. Mike Squires and Benny Distefano are the only two men to have followed suit since.

Prior to reaching the majors, Long was drafted three straight years. He went in the minor league portion of the 1948 Rule V Draft and 1949 Rule V Draft, and the major league portion of the 1950 Rule V Draft.

He umpired five years in the minor leagues and later was a field representative for the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues - the governing body of minor league baseball.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Records Held[edit]

  • Consecutive games with a home run, 8, 1956 (tied)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Les Biederman: "Dale Long's String of 8 Homers, A Memorable Saga", Baseball Digest, July 1969, pp. 42-44. [1]
  • Sweeny Murti: "Is this the most unbreakable HR record?", mlb.com, January 28, 2024. [2]

Related Sites[edit]