Rick Wise

From BR Bullpen


Richard Charles Wise

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Rick Wise won 188 games in nearly two decades in the major leagues but is best remembered by most folks for being traded even-up for future Hall of Famer Steve Carlton.

Born in Michigan, Wise moved to Portland, Oregon, as a youngster. He played in the 1958 Little League World Series, where a teammate was future big leaguer Keith Lampard. After high school, he was signed as a 17-year-old by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1963, and he reached the majors the next year, in 1964. After several seasons of bouncing between the minors and the bigs, he stuck with the Phillies for good in 1967, when he went 11-11 with a 3.28 ERA in 36 outings. He remained a mainstay in the Philadelphia rotation for the next several years.

Wise put together his best season for the Phillies in 1971, going 17-14 with a 2.88 ERA and making the All-Star team. On June 23rd of that year, he pitched a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds and hit two home runs in the game, becoming the first pitcher ever to homer in his own no-hitter. Overall that year, he hit 6 home runs in 97 at-bats. Following that season, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Steve Carlton. While Wise continued to be successful, Carlton went on to win four Cy Young Awards for the Phillies.

Wise won 16 games in each of two seasons with the Cardinals and started and won the 1973 All-Star Game for the National League. Following the 1973 season, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox. He missed much of 1974 with an injury but bounced back to win 19 games in 1975 as the Red Sox won the American League pennant. He earned the win in the final game of that year's ALCS against the Oakland A's and then earned the win pitching in relief in Game 6 of the World Series, fueled by Carlton Fisk's famous home run. However, Boston fell to Cincinnati in 7 games.

Prior to the 1978 season, Wise was traded to the Cleveland Indians in the deal that brought Dennis Eckersley - another future Hall of Famer - to Boston. He went on to lead the AL with 19 losses that year. After two summers in Cleveland, he became a free agent and signed with the San Diego Padres, for whom he ended his career in 1982.

An excellent hitter for a pitcher, Wise posted a .195 batting average with 15 HR in just 668 at bats. He spent a third of his career in the American League, where he did not bat due to the designated hitter rule.

After his big league days, Wise played for the Winter Haven Super Sox of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989. He went 0-2 with a 6.20 ERA in 12 starts for the club. He was also a minor league pitching coach for the Madison Muskies in 1985-1986, Auburn Astros in 1988-1989, the New Britain Red Sox in 1991-1992, Pawtucket Red Sox in 1993-1995, the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 1997, Midland Angels in 1998, Edmonton Trappers in 1999, Aberdeen Arsenal in 2000, Long Island Ducks in 2001, Allentown Ambassadors in 2002, the Nashua Pride in 2003-2004, and the Lancaster Barnstormers in 2005-2009.

Wise's brother Tom Wise was an infielder in the Houston Astros chain.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 2-time NL All-Star (1971 & 1973)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 6 (1969, 1971-1973, 1975 & 1979)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 9 (1969-1973, 1975, 1976, 1978 & 1979)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Thomas Harrigan: "A no-no AND 2 homers? He's the only one to do it", mlb.com, June 23, 2020. [1]
  • Matt Monagan: "Pitcher's dream day: 2 HRs AND a no-hitter: 50 years ago, Phillies pitcher Rick Wise put up a game for the ages", mlb.com, June 23, 2021. [2]
  • Bill Nowlin: "Rick Wise", in Mel Marmer and Bill Nowlin, eds.: The Year of Blue Snow: The 1964 Philadelphia Phillies, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 241-245. ISBN 978-1-933599-51-9
  • Bill Nowlin: "Rick Wise", in Bill Nowlin and Cecilia Tan, ed.: '75:The Red Sox Team that Saved Baseball, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 93-97. ISBN 978-1-933599-97-7

Related Sites[edit]