Dan Driessen Stats

Dan Driessen was born on Sunday, July 29, 1951, in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Driessen was 21 years old when he broke into the big leagues on June 9, 1973, with the Cincinnati Reds. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Dan Driessen baseball stats page.

"We had heard for three years that Dan Driessen could hit. Just about everybody in our organization said, 'Driessen could hit.' Let me just say this, Dan Driessen can hit." - Johnny Bench in Sports Illustrated (August 27, 1973, William Leggett, Reds rookie is a tough cookie , Source )
Dan Driessen

Dan 'The Cobra' Driessen Autograph on a 1983 Fleer Baseball Card (#589 | <a href='../baseball_cards/baseball_cards_oneset.php?s=1983fle01' title='1983 Fleer Baseball Card Checklist'>Checklist</a>)
Dan 'The Cobra' Driessen Autograph on a 1983 Fleer Baseball Card (#589 | Checklist )

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Birth Name:
Daniel Driessen
Nickname:
Dan or The Cobra
Born On:
07-29-1951  (Leo)
Place of Birth Data Born In:
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Year of Death Data Died On:
Still Living ( 500 Oldest Living )
Place of Death Data Died In:
Still Living
Cemetery:
n/a
High School:
Hardeeville High School (Hardeeville, SC)
College:
None Attended
Batting Stances Chart Bats:
Left
Throwing Arms Chart Throws:
Right
Player Height Chart Height:
5-11
Player Weight Chart Weight:
190
First Game:
06-09-1973 (Age 21)
Last Game:
10-03-1987
Draft:
Undrafted Free Agent
Dan Driessen

Dan Driessen Pitching Stats

G GS GF W L PCT ERA CG SHO SV IP BFP H ER R HR BB IBB SO WP HB BK HLD
- - Did Not Pitch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G GS GF W L PCT ERA CG SHO SV IP BFP H ER R HR BB IBB SO WP HB BK HLD
Dan Driessen

Dan Driessen Hitting Stats

G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
1973 22 Reds 102 366 49 110 15 2 4 0 47 24 4 37 1 1 2 8 .301 .346 .385
1974 23 Reds 150 470 63 132 23 6 7 0 56 48 5 62 1 3 1 9 .281 .347 .400
1975 24 Reds 88 210 38 59 8 1 7 0 38 35 2 30 0 2 2 8 .281 .386 .429
1976 25 Reds 98 219 32 54 11 1 7 0 44 43 2 32 0 6 0 11 .247 .362 .402
1977 26 Reds 151 536 75 161 31 4 17 0 91 64 8 85 0 5 3 12 .300 .375 .468
1978 27 Reds 153 524 68 131 23 3 16 0 70 75 7 79 3 6 4 13 .250 .345 .397
1979 28 Reds 150 515 72 129 24 3 18 0 75 62 11 77 2 7 3 6 .250 .330 .414
1980 29 Reds 154 524 81 139 36 1 14 0 74 93 17 68 0 9 6 14 .265 .377 .418
1981 30 Reds 82 233 35 55 14 0 7 0 33 40 3 31 2 3 2 5 .236 .349 .386
1982 31 Reds 149 516 64 139 25 1 17 1 57 82 8 62 0 6 2 8 .269 .368 .421
1983 32 Reds 122 386 57 107 17 1 12 0 57 75 10 51 0 6 0 12 .277 .390 .420
1984 33 Reds 81 218 27 61 13 0 7 0 28 37 2 25 0 4 0 5 .280 .378 .436
1984 33 Expos 51 169 20 43 11 0 9 0 32 17 6 15 1 1 0 5 .254 .321 .479
1985 34 Expos 91 312 31 78 18 0 6 0 25 33 9 29 1 2 2 8 .250 .324 .365
1985 34 Giants 54 181 22 42 8 0 3 0 22 17 3 22 0 3 1 2 .232 .297 .326
1986 35 Giants 15 16 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 4 1 4 0 0 0 0 .188 .350 .313
1986 35 Astros 17 24 5 7 1 0 1 0 3 5 1 2 0 0 0 0 .292 .414 .458
1987 36 Cardinals 24 60 5 14 2 0 1 0 11 7 1 8 0 1 0 2 .233 .309 .317
G AB R H 2B 3B HR GRSL RBI BB IBB SO SH SF HBP GIDP AVG OBP SLG
15 Years 1,732 5,479 746 1,464 282 23 153 1 763 761 100 719 11 65 28 128 .267 .356 .411
Dan Driessen

Dan Driessen Fielding Stats

POS G GS OUTS TC TC/G CH PO A E DP PB CASB CACS FLD% RF
1973 Reds 1B 35 5 327 104 3.0 104 97 7 0 11 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 8.59
1973 Reds 3B 87 85 1,944 224 2.6 212 62 150 12 19 n/a n/a n/a .946 2.94
1973 Reds RF 1 0 3 1 1.0 1 1 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 9.00
1974 Reds 1B 47 3 375 134 2.9 132 118 14 2 18 n/a n/a n/a .985 9.50
1974 Reds 3B 126 122 2,691 283 2.2 259 67 192 24 19 n/a n/a n/a .915 2.60
1974 Reds RF 3 2 36 1 0.3 1 1 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.75
1975 Reds 1B 41 26 798 292 7.1 288 268 20 4 34 n/a n/a n/a .986 9.74
1975 Reds LF 25 25 510 33 1.3 32 32 0 1 0 n/a n/a n/a .970 1.69
1975 Reds RF 4 3 69 10 2.5 10 10 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 3.91
1976 Reds 1B 40 32 885 313 7.8 312 291 21 1 33 n/a n/a n/a .997 9.52
1976 Reds LF 20 20 438 26 1.3 25 23 2 1 0 n/a n/a n/a .962 1.54
1977 Reds 1B 148 141 3,756 1,264 8.5 1,257 1,182 75 7 116 n/a n/a n/a .994 9.04
1978 Reds 1B 151 142 3,846 1,363 9.0 1,357 1,264 93 6 92 n/a n/a n/a .996 9.53
1979 Reds 1B 143 138 3,663 1,377 9.6 1,368 1,289 79 9 112 n/a n/a n/a .993 10.08
1980 Reds 1B 151 149 3,981 1,441 9.5 1,434 1,349 85 7 115 n/a n/a n/a .995 9.73
1981 Reds 1B 74 66 1,755 591 8.0 588 558 30 3 54 n/a n/a n/a .995 9.05
1982 Reds 1B 144 144 3,855 1,320 9.2 1,317 1,239 78 3 123 n/a n/a n/a .998 9.22
1983 Reds 1B 112 110 2,895 992 8.9 988 917 71 4 73 n/a n/a n/a .996 9.21
1984 Reds 1B 70 59 1,578 541 7.7 536 507 29 5 31 n/a n/a n/a .991 9.17
1984 Expos 1B 45 42 1,152 388 8.6 386 363 23 2 38 n/a n/a n/a .995 9.05
1985 Expos 1B 88 84 2,220 871 9.9 868 804 64 3 79 n/a n/a n/a .997 10.56
1985 Giants 1B 49 47 1,233 427 8.7 426 399 27 1 32 n/a n/a n/a .998 9.33
1986 Giants 1B 4 2 72 28 7.0 28 25 3 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 10.50
1986 Astros 1B 12 4 177 55 4.6 55 52 3 0 5 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 8.39
1987 Cardinals 1B 21 16 414 152 7.2 151 141 10 1 13 n/a n/a n/a .993 9.85
POS G GS OUTS TC TC/G CH PO A E DP PB CASB CACS FLD% RF
1B Totals 1,375 1,210 32,982 11,653 8.5 11,595 10,863 732 58 979 n/a n/a n/a .995 9.49
3B Totals 213 207 4,635 507 2.4 471 129 342 36 38 n/a n/a n/a .929 2.74
LF Totals 45 45 948 59 1.3 57 55 2 2 0 n/a n/a n/a .966 1.62
RF Totals 8 5 108 12 1.5 12 12 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 3.00
15 Years 1,641 1,467 38,673 12,231 7.5 12,135 11,059 1,076 96 1,017 n/a n/a n/a .992 8.47
Dan Driessen

Dan Driessen Miscellaneous Stats

SB CS SB% PH PR DH AB/HR AB/K AB/RBI K/BB K/9 BB/9
1973 Reds 8 3 .727 9 0 n/a 91.5 9.9 7.8 - - -
1974 Reds 10 5 .667 14 3 n/a 67.1 7.6 8.4 - - -
1975 Reds 10 3 .769 28 2 n/a 30.0 7.0 5.5 - - -
1976 Reds 14 1 .933 42 0 n/a 31.3 6.8 5.0 - - -
1977 Reds 31 13 .705 6 0 n/a 31.5 6.3 5.9 - - -
1978 Reds 28 9 .757 6 1 n/a 32.8 6.6 7.5 - - -
1979 Reds 11 5 .688 8 0 n/a 28.6 6.7 6.9 - - -
1980 Reds 19 6 .760 3 0 n/a 37.4 7.7 7.1 - - -
1981 Reds 2 4 .333 5 4 n/a 33.3 7.5 7.1 - - -
1982 Reds 11 6 .647 4 1 n/a 30.4 8.3 9.1 - - -
1983 Reds 6 4 .600 10 0 n/a 32.2 7.6 6.8 - - -
1984 Reds 2 1 .667 12 0 n/a 31.1 8.7 7.8 - - -
1984 Expos 0 1 .000 8 1 n/a 18.8 11.3 5.3 - - -
1985 Expos 2 2 .500 6 0 n/a 52.0 10.8 12.5 - - -
1985 Giants 0 0 .000 6 0 n/a 60.3 8.2 8.2 - - -
1986 Giants 0 0 .000 11 0 n/a 0.0 4.0 0.0 - - -
1986 Astros 0 0 .000 6 0 n/a 24.0 12.0 8.0 - - -
1987 Cardinals 0 0 .000 4 0 n/a 60.0 7.5 5.5 - - -
SB CS SB% PH PR DH AB/HR AB/K AB/RBI K/BB K/9 BB/9
15 Years 154 63 .710 188 12 n/a 35.8 7.6 7.2 - - -
Dan Driessen

Dan Driessen Miscellaneous Items of Interest

1973 Cincinnati Reds 22 $15,000.00 - -
1974 Cincinnati Reds 22 $16,000.00 - -
1975 Cincinnati Reds 22 $17,100.00 - Stats
1976 Cincinnati Reds 22 $47,500.00 - Stats
1977 Cincinnati Reds 22 $60,000.00 - -
1978 Cincinnati Reds 22 $65,000.00 - -
1979 Cincinnati Reds 22 $125,000.00 - -
1980 Cincinnati Reds 22 Undetermined - -
1981 Cincinnati Reds 22 Undetermined - -
1982 Cincinnati Reds 22 Undetermined - -
1983 Cincinnati Reds 22 Undetermined - -
1984 Cincinnati Reds 22 Undetermined - -
1984 Montreal Expos 24 Undetermined - -
1985 Montreal Expos 22 $767,500.00 - -
1985 San Francisco Giants 25 "     " - -
1986 San Francisco Giants 25 $700,000.00 - -
1986 Houston Astros 23 "     " - -
1987 St. Louis Cardinals 23 $100,000.00 - Stats


The designated hitter (DH) was adopted by the American League in 1973. World Series games were played under National League rules through 1975, no DH, pitchers taking their at-bats. During the 1976 World Series , every game, regardless of the venue, used the DH. Due to the rule change, during Game 1 , Cincinnati Reds first baseman Dan Driessen became the first National League player to act as a DH in any capacity - regular season or postseason.
Dan Driessen, First N.L. Designated Hitter
Dan Driessen | First N.L. Designated Hitter | Playground Daily News | 10-17-1976 | Page 17

Dan Driessen did not play one inning of baseball in high school. Dan Driessen did not play one inning of baseball in college. Nonetheless, The Cobra made his Major League debut on June 9, 1973 , the bases were loaded, Fergie Jenkins was on the mound, and, " Jenkins struck me out. I don't think I even saw the pitch. I was so nervous, I didn't sleep at all the night before," recalled Driessen. Thirty nine years later, Dan was a Class of 2012 inductee into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame! An excerpt from their exceptional bio:

He was one of the finest defensive first basemen of his era. He broke into the starting lineup of one the most dominant teams in baseball history. He appeared in four playoff series and two World Series. He finished third in voting for the National League Rookie of the Year Award. He crafted the best season of his career after taking the place of a Cincinnati legend. And he never played an inning of high school or college baseball. It may be hard to believe but such were the circumstances of Dan Driessen's unorthodox path to the Cincinnati Reds , a path that ultimately led him to the Reds Hall of Fame.

Through it all, the Reds never stopped believing in Driessen's talent. His performance as the Reds ' designated hitter in the 1976 World Series (Driessen was the first DH in NL history) provided additional confirmation of this belief. Reds General Manager Bob Howsam was an advocate of the Branch Rickey principle that it was always better to trade a player a year too early rather than a year too late. The understanding that Driessen was being groomed to replace Tony Perez had been in place ever since Driessen's impressive rookie season. The 1975 decision by arbitrator Peter Seitz that effectively put an end to baseball's reserve clause and resulted in the creation of free agency also factored into the Reds ' analysis of their options at first base. Perez was 34, an age at which most players experience a decline in production and would soon be eligible for free agency. Driessen was only 25, an age at which most players are on the verge of their peak production and was a much more inexpensive player.

The loss of starting pitcher Don Gullett to the Yankees as a free agent which created a hole in the rotation that needed finally forced the Reds ' hand. On December 16, 1976, the Reds traded Perez to the Montreal Expos for pitchers Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray . Dan Driessen would be the Reds ' starting first baseman for the 1977 season.

The task that lay ahead of Driessen was a daunting one. Perez had not only been a leading player in the most dominant lineup in Reds history but he had also been one of the most popular players to ever wear a Reds uniform. In the wake of the trade, Driessen was quick to let fans and teammates know that he fully appreciated what Perez had meant to the club. " Tony Perez was my idol. Everybody asks me how I replace Perez . I don't. I don't even think about that. I just go out and do what I do and hope that will be enough." His teammates, though saddened by Perez's departure supported Driessen. "Sure he took Tony's place," said Joe Morgan . "But I want him to do good. He's a teammate. I'm rooting for him. He sat on the bench for two years knowing he could hit in the big leagues. Anyone else would can hit like him would have been raising hell. He didn't."

Indeed, Driessen had remained largely silent during his two-year exodus from the starting lineup. Unfortunately for him, as the 1977 season got underway his bat was largely silent as well. Perhaps it was fitting (one observer described it as overdue justice) that Driessen's coming out party in 1977 coincided with Perez's first game in Cincinnati since the trade. It was June 10 and while Perez received ovation after ovation from the home crowd, Driessen stole the show, going 3-5 with a home run and 3 RBI in the Reds ' 13-1 victory. He had entered the series against the Expos with a .261 average. He would end the season at an even .300 with 17 home runs, 91 RBI and 31 stolen bases, a club record for a first baseman. He also provided stellar defense at first base, establishing himself as one of the best defensive players in the game. In the face of incredible pressure, Driessen had delivered.

Over the next five seasons, Driessen was a steady, reliable presence in the Reds ' lineup, helping the Reds to another division title in 1979 and to baseball's best overall record in 1981. And while his tenure as the Reds ' starting first baseman will always be overshadowed by the glory of the championship seasons of 1975 and 1976, his contributions to the club cannot be denied. He was a constant during a period of difficult change for the Reds as the often painful transition from the Big Red Machine era unfolded.

A true team player, Driessen was always willing to try a new position or a new spot in the batting order. He accepted these assignments without complaint and harbored no ill will for having to wait for the chance to play the position at which he was so gifted. It's difficult to take the place of a legend. In 1977, Dan Driessen was asked to do just that and did it about as well as it could have been done. It was the finest season of a distinguished career, a career that is often lost amidst the towering achievements of the Big Red Machine, but one that certainly should not be forgotten.

Source: Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. Dan Driessen. Class of 2012. Introduction / Closing appear above, read full bio here ( Link ).

The Big Red Machine
Cincinnati Reds Team Photo | AP Wire | The Big Red Machine
How has baseball changed? Today, it isn't uncommon for a young player to receive millions of dollars when signing. Author Lew Freedman interviewed Driessen for a chapter in Game of My Life, Cincinnati Reds: Memorable Stories of Reds Baseball and Dan shared this wonderful story with him, "Got a big bonus when I signed," he said. "They gave me a yearbook and a plane ticket." Not long after he made it to the Reds , Driessen was in a discussion with a sportswriter and teammate Ken Griffey (Sr). Griffey claimed he must have been given less to sign with the Reds than any other player. The team wooed Griffey with a Reds team jacket, a pair of Reds sanitary socks, and a $500-a-month Minor League contract. Driessen's response was, "See? He did get more. I didn't get a jacket."

Last-Modified: July 29, 2019 3:39 AM EST

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