Player Information Page

Joe Black


A short bio from the Helmar “This Great Game” card back: Joe Black failed several times, and it’s a good thing for the Dodgers. Originally a catcher in his native New Jersey, Joe struggled to block pitches behind the plate. Next, his coaches moved Joe to shortstop, where he threw too many baseballs over the head of the first baseman. Finally, someone had the brainstorm to place Big Joe on the hill, and it’s proved to be his natural habitat on the diamond. The wise Charley Dressen deserves credit for grooming Black as a relief pitcher, an unusual job for a rookie when he arrived in 1952. Joe is unusual in another way: he throws almost exclusively his fastball. But hitters can know it’s coming, and still not make solid contact.

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