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Friday, March 5, 2021

Dick Canan made AAA, felt no butterflies in debut; Saw eight pro seasons, never made bigs

Dick Canan made it up to AAA for the first time in June 1991 and he thought he'd have been more nervous than he was, he told The Des Moines Register after his debut.

Instead, he went out and hit the ball to the fence in his first at bat and then knocked in a run on a single in his second at bat, The Register wrote.

"I was surprised that I had no butterflies," Canan told The Register. "I did before the game, but once I got on the  field, it all went away."

Canan's stay at AAA Iowa lasted for 32 appearances. Those turned out to be the only AAA appearances of his career. He never made the majors.

Canan's career began in 1985, taken by the Cubs in the 13th round of the draft out of the University of Illinois.

Canan started with the Cubs in the rookie Appalachian League at Wytheville. He hit .277 in 40 games. 

He moved to single-A Peoria for 1986 and 1987. He hit .251 his first year there, then .197 in an abbreviated 45-game second season there. He lost time that year after he picked up a knife in a restaurant and cut a tendon in his little finger.

Canan split 1988 between Peoria and single-A Charleston, then played 1989 at single-A Winston-Salem. He hit .246 in 110 games there.

For 1990, he made AA for the first time, at Charlotte. He hit .233 in 123 games there. That June, the third baseman and outfielder spoke to The Charlotte Observer about injuries and a directive that spring that he needed to make AA or be released.

"I thought about that a lot," Canan told The Observer. "And during the winter I worked my butt off and made this team. And I think I've played well here."

Canan then played 1991 between Charlotte and Iowa. He hit .266 in his 32 appearances at Iowa. His last pro season came in 1993 at independent Duluth-Superior. He got into 38 games and hit .306.

Canan has since turned youth coach. He's served as an assistant coach with Reavis High in Illinois since 1997, continuing to be listed in that role in 2021. He also continues in 2021 to serve as an instructor with the Willowbrook-Burr Ridge Sports Performance Center in Willowbrook, Il.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,591
Made the Majors:1,244-34.6%
Never Made Majors:2,347-65.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:517
10+ Seasons in the Minors:305

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