David William Ricketts (July 12, 1935 – July 13, 2008) was an American catcher and coach in Major League Baseball who played parts of six seasons (1963, 1965, 1967–1970) with the St. Louis Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates. Ricketts was a reserve catcher on the 1967 World Series champion Cardinals and their 1968 pennant winners. He later served as a longtime bullpen coach of the Cardinals (1974–1975, 1978–1991), including their 1982 World Series champions and 1985 and 1987 pennant winners, after having been the bullpen coach for the Pirates from 1971 to 1973, including the 1971 World Series champions. Over his career he batted .249 with 1 home run and 20 runs batted in in 130 games played.
Ricketts was born in Pottstown, Pennsylvania; his older brother Dick was the first pick in the 1955 NBA Draft, and played three years in the National Basketball Association before pitching briefly for the 1959 Cardinals. Dave Ricketts played basketball with his brother at Duquesne University, graduating in 1957 with a degree in education. He married Barbarann Boswell on August 17, 1957, and they had one daughter, Cindy. He served in the military in 1958–1959. During his minor league career, he led Pacific Coast League catchers with 12 double plays in 1962 while with the Portland Beavers, and led International League catchers with 11 double plays the following year while with the Atlanta Crackers; he also led the IL in passed balls in both 1963 and 1964, playing for the Jacksonville Suns the latter season.
Ricketts' tenure as a coach with the Cardinals was interrupted by two seasons as a manager in the Cardinals farm system; he led the Sarasota Cardinals to a fourth-place finish in the Gulf Coast League in 1976, and the Johnson City Cardinals to a third-place finish in the Appalachian League in 1977.
Ricketts died of renal cancer on July 13, 2008.
Ricketts was a good backup to Tim McCarver especially in 1967, when the Cardinals were World Champions.
By Dean Hanley
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