Bruce Dal Canton – Baseball

A 1963 graduate of California State College, California, Pennsylvania, Dal Canton had a fastball that powered the Cal Vulcans to the District 30 title and first NAIA National tournament. Bruce held an astonishing 1.30 ERA, which remains a school and PSAC record. A fellow player in the Fayette County League, Cecil Cole, got Bruce a private workout with the Pittsburgh Pirates resulting in a contract.

Dal Canton made his major league debut with the Pirates in 1967. With the Bucs through 1970, the right-handed pitcher went 20-8 with a 3.34 ERA over 86 innings of relief. Bruce was able to fool batters with his velocity of pitches, developing a sneaky fastball and deadly curve. Traded to Kansas City in 1970, he performed as a starter. On August 14, 1972, Dal Canton set a club record retiring 23 consecutive batters. Bruce extended his career by developing a knuckleball. He pitched for the Atlanta Braves in 1976 and signed with the White Sox in 1977.

His overall MLB record was 51-49 as a relief and starter along with an overall 3.67 ERA. His career numbers are impressive for one never really scouted and a late bloomer. With the White Sox, Bruce seamlessly moved into the role of pitching coach. From 1982 through 2008, Bruce was an integral part of the Atlanta Braves organization. He was with the major league Braves as pitching coach from 1987 to 1990. He became a Braves’ organization instructor in 1991 tutoring young pitchers at Myrtle Beach.

At heart a teacher, Dal Canton got his prodigies to understand both the art and science of getting hitters out. More than 30 players under his guidance made it to the major leagues. Calm, personable, and a patient mentor, Bruce was deeply mourned at his passing by the Braves’ organization.