Friday, December 18, 2009
#61) DICK SELMA
Dick Selma joined the New York Mets when he signed as a free agent on May 28, 1963. "The reason he went to the Mets back then was that they were a new team." said Selma's mother, Hazel. "I sat in with him in all the recruitment meetings but let him make his own decision. He thought he could really progress with the Mets." Dick made his major league debut as a roster expansion call-up for the Mets on September 2, 1965. In his second career start he defeated the Atlanta Braves 1-0 and recorded 13 strikeouts —at that time a record for a Mets' pitcher. The right-hander would pitch three more seasons in New York as a reliever and spot starter. Selma was drafted by the San Diego Padres in their expansion draft when that club was created on October 14, 1968. He was even credited with the first win of that new franchise in 1969.
After his playing career, Dick returned to Fresno, California and took a job with Fleming Foods, working nights so he could play and coach baseball in the area. In addition to coaching summer and fall baseball teams, Selma was an assistant at Fresno City College and served as the pitching coach at Clovis High School.
Dick Selma passed away at the age of 57 in Clovis, California on August 29, 2001. He had suffered from liver cancer and spent his final days surrounded by friends and family.
I created Dick Selma's card in the set from an autographed index card purchased from Bob Dowen on November 27, 2009.