Obscure Former Phillies Hour, Vol. 1: David Dellucci

I had a little compulsive fit on Twitter over the weekend in which I went to Jeromy Burnitz‘s Baseball Reference page and rattled off several interesting facts about his career, which turned out to be sneakily compelling. On the request of Rant Sports writer Jake Pavorsky, I’ve decided to do the same with former Phillies reserve outfielder David Dellucci. If there’s interest, I’ll make this a running feature, so if you’ve got requests, let me know, either in the comment section or via Twitter.

And now, without further delay, David Dellucci in eighteen points.

  1. David Dellucci was born on October 31, 1973, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Three Louisiana natives (Jonathan Papelbon, Mike Fontenot and Mike Stutes) have appeared for the Phillies this season, but Dellucci was the only player born in Louisiana to play for the Phillies from 2001-2008.
  2. Louisiana is one of two states in the union not to divide itself into counties. In Louisiana, counties are called “parishes,” while in Alaska they are called “boroughs.” Alaska’s North Slope Borough is the largest county in the United States, which, at nearly 90,000 square miles, is roughly the size of Ireland. That doesn’t have a thing to do with David Dellucci, but you’re just going to have to deal with it.
  3. David Dellucci’s wife is pregnant. The due date (February 23, 2013) is posted on Dellucci’s Wikipedia page. I feel like that’s particularly important information for public consumption.
  4. Also from Dellucci’s Wikipedia page: he was inducted into the Louisiana American-Italian Hall of Fame in 2011. Which is a thing, I guess. Other notable members: James Gandolfini’s character in the remake of All the King’s Men. I can’t think of any other Louisiana American-Italians off the top of my head.
  5. Also on Dellucci’s Wikipedia page: he was voted one of the 50 greatest athletes in the history of the University of Mississippi. I mean, Dellucci had a 13-year major league career, but it’s not like Ole Miss is North Dakota Directional A&M. This is an SEC school. They do big sports there. And Dellucci is one of their top 50 athletes ever? Okay: Archie Manning, Eli Manning, Mike Wallace, Armintie Price, Patrick Willis…maybe Lance Lynn and Drew Pomeranz in a few years…All-time XFL leading rusher John Avery…Michael Oher? Wow, Ole Miss athletics suck.
  6. David Dellucci was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 10th round of the 1995 amateur draft, four spots behind Ryan Freel, who I always loved as a player for three reasons: 1) He played a bunch of positions 2) he was really fast 3) he discussed his imaginary friend Farley openly during his playing days. Gotta respect that.
  7. David Dellucci was chosen with the 45th pick in the 1997 expansion draft. The best part of that draft? Tampa Bay taking Bobby Abreu, then flipping him to the Phillies for Kevin Stocker. That was awesome? Why don’t the Phillies trade punchless infielders for borderline Hall-of-Famers anymore. You think there’s any promise in a Freddy Galvis-for-Wil Myers deal? No? Damn.
  8. David Dellucci led the National League in triples in 1998. I was unaware of that previously.
  9. Rickey Henderson, perhaps the greatest power/speed threat in baseball history, never led the league in triples. Neither did Tim Raines. Nor did Jackie Robinson.
  10. In 1998, Dellucci stole three bases and was caught five times. In 2003 he stole 12 bases and was not caught once. Dellucci’s 1998 might have been one of the weirdest speed seasons ever.
  11. In 1999, Dellucci was hitting .394/.463/.505 before a wrist injury ended his season in July. Yet he’d only had 123 plate appearances through that point despite having been on the roster since Opening Day. Now, I know 123 plate appearances is a small sample, but if a guy’s hitting close to .400, at some point you’ve got to start riding the hot hand, right? Maybe this is why Buck Showalter got fired.
  12. The second-most similar player to Dellucci, according to Baseball Reference, is John Vander Wal, another lefty fourth outfielder who made his name in the NL West. Vander Wal is best known for his ridiculous 1995 season, where he posted a 1.026 OPS for the Rockies as a pinch-hitter. His 28 pinch hits that season set a new major league record. Eat your heart out, 2008 Greg Dobbs.
  13. David Dellucci was part of a package that was traded for Raul Mondesi at the 2003 trade deadline.
  14. The Phillies acquired David Dellucci for pitcher Robinson Tejeda and minor league outfielder Jake Blalock. Jake Blalock is the younger brother of former Texas Rangers all-star third baseman Hank Blalock, and part of a proud lineage of the Phillies having the wrong brother. I’m looking at you: Ken Brett, Mike Maddux and Jeremy Giambi. (shakes fist angrily at the sky)
  15. David Dellucci qualified for the batting title exactly once in his career: 2005 with the Texas Rangers, where he hit 29 home runs and posted an .879 OPS.
  16. A testament to his career as a bench bat, Dellucci batted nearly eight times as often against right-handed pitchers as he did against lefties. There’s a good reason for this: Dellucci’s career OPS against righties was .803 (roughly equal to Torii Hunter). Against lefties? .550, which is roughly equal to Blue Moon Odom, who was a pitcher. In the late 1960s, the worst offensive period since the Dead Ball Era.
  17. David Dellucci had more career home runs than Frank Baker, a Hall of Fame third baseman whose nickname was “Home Run.”
  18. David Dellucci was active in charity work during the relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. For this he was commended by the Louisiana state legislature. We too commend him for this.

I give you David Dellucci, 1999 National League triples champion. If you would like to see a player honored in Obscure Former Phillies Hour, don’t hesitate to ask. It’s going to be a long offseason.

Leave a Reply

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23 comments

  1. Shamus

    September 24, 2012 10:20 PM

    Robert Persons.

  2. Common Sense

    September 24, 2012 10:58 PM

    Desi Relaford

  3. valo

    September 24, 2012 11:08 PM

    If you want wierd facts, do the research on Elmer Valo. You’ll love the guy.

  4. EricL

    September 25, 2012 12:56 AM

    For #14, I feel like Vince DiMaggio ought to be included in the “Wrong Brother” list.

  5. Jesse

    September 25, 2012 03:28 AM

    Dave Hollins isn’t *that* obscure, but I think people need to be reminded more often that he not only went on the DL due to being bitten by a spider, but I think that’s what also prompted him to retire…
    Also, a quick peer at B-R for an easy fact granted:
    – led the AL in errors in 1997 with 27? Boring.
    – his “Most similar to” includes some of the biggest names in music – Jim Morrison, Randy Jackson, and someone named Presley. They need some Gray and Black Ink to monitor Cleveland more than Cooperstown…

  6. Scott G

    September 25, 2012 05:44 AM

    19. On the day that abreu and lidle were traded, Dellucci had two fan groups in right field: dellucci’s groupies and the delluche bags

  7. hk

    September 25, 2012 06:18 AM

    Add Juan Bell (-0.4 career fWAR) to the wrong brothers list. Juan’s signing by the Phils was especially painful because it was yet another reminder that the Phils had, but lost (in the Rule V draft) his brother George (24.4 career WAR).

    I would like to see some obscure facts about John Bateman, a catcher who played for the Phils in 1972. Also, feel free to throw in some false facts if you want. Maybe something like:

    5. John’s son Jason and daughter Justine are both accomplished Hollywood actors.

  8. css228

    September 25, 2012 09:18 AM

    How about Rico Brogna or Wayne Gomes?

  9. Max

    September 25, 2012 09:25 AM

    As someonethe who’s studied the 1958 Phillies lately, I request Dave Philley or Granny Hammer.

  10. Max

    September 25, 2012 09:25 AM

    As someone who’s studied the 1958 Phillies lately, I request Dave Philley or Granny Hammer.

  11. Max

    September 25, 2012 09:26 AM

    Harrumph, extraneous articles and double posting.

  12. soundofphilly

    September 25, 2012 10:00 AM

    He’s not really obscure in my mind, so I guess that makes me a huge nerd.

  13. Blocky

    September 25, 2012 10:46 AM

    How about Mark Leiter? Yet another in our proud tradition of having the wrong brother.

  14. SJHaack

    September 25, 2012 11:24 AM

    Ricky Ledee

    Pretty sure he didn’t have any brothers that played pro baseball, but he was still the wrong one anyway.

    Alt: Ricky Jordan

  15. Leo Morgenstern

    September 29, 2012 08:42 PM

    SAL FASANO

  16. miguel

    October 01, 2012 06:14 PM

    bobby estalella

  17. James Kerti

    October 02, 2012 01:42 PM

    I remember him best for his part in the Worst Baserunning in the History of the Game, starring Ruben Rivera.

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