Former Pirate Player, Coach Dave Ricketts Dies

Dave Ricketts has died of renal failure.
He is mostly remembered as a longtime Cardinal coach and catching instructor. He spent his last season as a player – 1970 – as a Pirate. His first gig as a coach was also with the Bucs, starting immediately after his playing career ended. Ricketts joined the Pirates after the 1969 season as part of the trade that saw Dave Giusti come to the steel city in exchange for Carl Taylor.
Ricketts played college basketball at Duquesne. In the 1974 book (written about the 1973 season) Out of Leftfield, Willie Stargell describes Ricketts as being the hardest working coach and a counselor to the young Pirate players on the team. During his stint as Pirates coach, Ricketts lost his 12 year old son to cancer.
After leaving the Pirates, he spent a good chunk of the next 20 years as a Major League coach for St. Louis.

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2 Responses to “Former Pirate Player, Coach Dave Ricketts Dies”

  1. Paula Gerst Says:

    While growing up, I had fond memories of Uncle Dave, aka “Mr. Ricks”. He always took the time to talk, joke around, or share his skills with others. One could hear and feel his enthusiasm and laughter when he was around. “Mr. Ricks” was full of energy that was highly contangious. He was always encouraging us to do well and to appreciate our education. Strong character building, honesty, kindness, and sincerity were always at the forefront of his life lessons to young people. Giving back to society, the community, was not just a thought or a comment, it was a way life for him. He led by example. I’ll always remember his fun spirit, love, kindness, and gentleness.
    One fond memory that I hold dearly was when Uncle Dave brought a couple of teammates over to our house in Rochester for a visit. They engaged the lucky neighborhood children in our own game of baseball. We received first-handed training from the pros. My dad, Wilbur, assisted Lil’ David, affectionately known as “Flea”, hit the pitched balls. “Flea” was very ill at the time, so I was his base runner. Of course we were all winners that day. The Major league wasn’t quite ready for our talent just yet. We were blessed to be surrounded by adults who took such interest in us and freely gave of themselves.
    To a mentor, uncle, friend –
    Game well played!
    Paula G.

  2. P. Gerst Says:

    I have fond childhood memories of Uncle Dave, aka “Mr. Ricks”. While growing up, he always took the time to talk, joke around, or share his skills with me and others. One could hear and feel his enthusiastic laughter when he was around. “Mr. Ricks” was full of energy that was highly contagious. He was always encouraging us to do well and to appreciate our education. Strong character building, honesty, kindness, and sincerity were always at the forefront of his life lessons to young people. Giving back to society, the community, was not just a thought or a comment, it was a way of life for him. He led by example. I’ll always remember his fun spirit, love, kindness, and gentleness.
    One fond memory that I hold dearly was when Uncle Dave brought a couple of teammates over to our house in Rochester for a visit. They engaged the lucky neighborhood children in our own game of baseball. We received first-hand training from the pros. My dad, Wilbur, assisted Lil’ David, affectionately known as “Flea,” hit the pitched balls. “Flea” was very ill at the time, so I was his base runner. Of course we were all winners that day. The Major league wasn’t quite ready for our talent just yet. We were blessed to be surrounded by adults who took such interest in us and freely gave of themselves.
    To a mentor, uncle, friend –
    Game well played!


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