|Thursday, August 30,
Selma suffered from liver cancer
CLOVIS, Calif. -- Dick Selma, who compiled a 42-54 record during 10 seasons
in the major leagues, died Wednesday. He was 57.
Selma suffered from liver cancer. Family members said he spent his final
days surrounded by close friends and family.
"He was my hero. He had a heart bigger than anyone I'd ever met," said
Selma's son, Bart. "Every year, around Christmas time, he would put a Santa
mask on, sneak around in the back yard, and peak through the window of my
house to surprise my daughter and son."
Selma, who grew up in Fresno, made his major league debut in 1965 with the
New York Mets, then went on to pitch for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia,
Milwaukee, California and San Diego.
"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."
He was the pitcher of record in the expansion Padres' first win in 1969 and
the following year struck out 153 batters as a reliever with the Phillies,
still a National League record.
In 307 major league games, he compiled 31 saves and a 3.52 ERA.
After his retirement, Selma returned to Fresno 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 as recently as last season.
Selma was unable to speak when he died, but Bart Selma said he was alert and
able to understand family members.
In addition to his mother and son, Selma is survived by his wife, Kathy, his
children Brett and Beth, and four grandchildren.
A public "informal celebration of his life" will be held Sept. 9 at Fresno's
John Eulefs Ballpark.
Selma pitched in the ballpark frequently when he attended Fresno City