A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Padre Backstops: Dann Bilardello

I will never claim that I am a great baseball historian.  I'm not even a good historian of my favorite team, the Padres.  I do consider myself pretty knowledgable of the Padres players between 1991 to the present, however.

Which made the finding of this Dann Bilardello card from the 1992 Leaf set a little puzzling.  Why hadn't I heard of him before?  Where is the ball in this picture?  Is there a reason that there are two N's in his first name?  Is it short for Danniel?

Turns out that Dann was a first round draft pick by the Dodgers in 1978. He didn't make it to the big leagues until 1983, when he did so with Cincinnati, who had acquired him from LA in the Rule 5 Draft. From there, he bounced to Montreal and Pittsburgh, while not playing in the majors during the '87-'88 seasons.  He was granted free agency from the Pirates in the offseason of 1990, and was signed by San Diego less than a month later.

In San Diego, he was the third string catcher, behind Benito Santiago and Tom Lampkin.  He got into 13 games in '91 and 14 in '92.  He hit a decent .269 in 1991 (7 for 26), but slumped to .121 (4 for 33) in 1992.  He was released at the end of the 1992 season, as the Padres had seen enough, and were trying to bring up prospect Dan Walters.  He ended his career after signing with the Mets, but never playing in MLB again, after the age of 33.

Currently, Dann is in his third season as the manager of the Batavia Muck Dogs, the short-season class A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He had a record of 82-67 coming into the season.  I'm assuming that it's his experience in San Diego that enables him to be so successful.

1 comment:

  1. he's a great through the mail signer if you want that baby 'graphed

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