Year Inducted – 1996

From the Hot Stove League through American Legion and high school baseball, the brilliance of Dean Chance’s pitching ability was evident. He provided West Salem’s young teams with four championships. At Northwestern High School he won 51 games losing only one, pitching them to a state championship in 1959. He pitched for Erhart Kramers in the AA circles before signing a pro contract with the Baltimore Orioles. He was assigned to Bluefield, W. VA., of the Appalachian League. During the expansion draft of the 1960’s, he was picked up by the Los Angeles Angels. He became the American League Rookie (righthander) of the Year, according to Topps Baseball Card Co. This beginning was a prediction of things to come. In 1964 Dean had a career year, pitching 11 shutouts (five of them 1-to-0 games), had a 20-9 win-loss record along with an ERA of 1.65. All of this resulted in his winning the 1964 “Cy Young Award.” He concluded his professional career in 1971 with Detroit, after stints with Minneapolis, Cleveland, and the New York Mets. Dean had a total of 128 victories of which 33 were shutouts, with two no-hitters. In 1967 there were two All-Star games and he started both of them. Dean still holds a couple of pitching records that (what with the way pitchers are now being used) may never be broken. Perhaps Tom Gaffney, Akron Beacon Journal staff writer, expressed our sentiments best, when he wrote, “Thanks for the lasting memories, Dean.”