Wednesday, March 28, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #142 - Steve Dillard

  • Steve Dillard was originally drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1970, but Steve elected to attend college instead and didn't sign. Dillard  was signed by the Boston Red Sox two years later in 1972.
  • Dillard played in the minors for four years and eventually got a September call-up in 1975 (2 for 5 in one game). Steve had shoulder surgery in 1973 and again in 1975.
  • Steve made the Red Sox in 1976 as a utility infielder and  batted .275 in 57 games. In August he was sent down to learn how to play second base. After his shoulder surgeries it was thought that he would have a tough time making throws from shortstop.
  • Dillard platooned with Denny Doyle at second base in 1977. Steve started against left handers. Since most teams were reluctant to use lefties in Fenway Park, Dillard got most of his starts on the road. Dillard batted .241 in 66 games in 1977. After the 1977 season the Red Sox acquired Jerry Remy to play second base. Steve saw the writing on the wall and suggested that a trade may be best for him. The Red Sox traded Dillard to the Detroit Tigers for two minor leaguers and cash.
  • Unfortunately for Steve, the Tigers had Lou Whitaker ready to play second base so he didn't get a lot of playing time. Dillard played in 56 games in 1978 and batted .223. 
  • During spring training in 1979 Dillard was traded to the  Chicago Cubs for Ed Putman. Steve had his best year in 1979, batting .283 in 89 games as he backed up Ted Sizemore at second base.
  • In 1980 Dillard was a utility guy for the Cubs. He played in 100 games and batted .225 in 224 at bats. 
  • Steve batted .218 in 53 games in 1981 and was released after the season by new General Manager Dallas Green as part of a general housecleaning.
  • Dillard signed with the Chicago White Sox for the 1982 season. He was told that he would need to play in AAA in the beginning of the season. Steve had his best offensive year as a professional player in 1982. He batted .313 in 124 games for AAA Edmonton. Dillard was brought up at the end of the 1982 season, but he batted only .190 in 16 games.
  • Before the 1983 season it was suggested to Steve that he start managing in the minors. Dillard tried to find a club that still wanted his services as a player, but all of the teams he talked to wanted to go with younger players. Steve decided to go into managing in 1983 and he has managed various Rookie League and Class A teams (with a few breaks) ever since.
  • 1977 Stats: .241 in 66 games
  • 1977 Highlights
  • Other card blogs: 1979, 1980, 1982
  • Here is Steve's SABR biography.

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