Saturday, March 13, 2010

Final Card: Chuck Hiller

Chuck Hiller (#461) was signed by the Indians in 1957, and played 2 seasons in their low minors before the Giants selected him in the 1958 minor-league draft. After 2 more seasons in the Giants' organization, Hiller made his major-league debut with the Giants on April 11, 1961.

After starting 16 of the first 17 games at 2nd base, Chuck slowly lost his grip on the starting job to Joey Amalfitano, and by season's end, Chuck had 63 starts (to Amalfitano's 88).

Amalfitano was lost in the post-season expansion draft, so Hiller was now in full control at 2nd base, starting 158 games in 1962, and 101 games in 1963 (alternating with the re-acquired Amalfitano).

In 1964, rookie Hal Lanier got the bulk of playing time at 2nd, relegating Hiller to a backup role. Eventually, Chuck was sold to the Mets on May 11, 1965. In New York, he was in a 3-way timeshare at 2nd base with Bobby Klaus and Ron Hunt.

Hunt took over the 2nd base job in 1966, pushing Hiller to his now-familiar role as utility/pinch-hitter. In July 1967, the location changed (Phillies) but not the job.

After the 1967 season, the Pirates selected him from the Phillies in the rule 5 draft. After 11 games with the Pirates in 1968 (the last on June 2nd), Hiller's 8-year major-league career was over.

He spent the remainder of 1968 with the Pirates' triple-A team in Columbus, Ohio before retiring.


Cliff said...

Is it just me, or is Chuck a pinhead? I've got him - and a bunch of other pinheads - right here:

Unknown said...

If I'm not mistaken, Chuck hit the first grand slam in the World Series for a National Leaguer in 1962.