Monday, March 19, 2012

#28 - Dann Bilardello

What a card: Dann Bilardello had just completed his sophomore year in the major leagues, appearing in 68 games in a platoon with Brad Gulden and Dave Van Gorder. A long way down from Johnny Bench.

My observation on the front: This off-center beauty is actually a perfect demonstration of how you present a major league player without any logos showing. ... Well, except for the giant Reds logo in the design.

More opinion from me: Bilardello drew interest from me because I thought he would be the heir to Johnny Bench as the Reds' starting catcher. I know Joe Nolan and Alex Trevino were the first guys to replace Bench -- who had moved on to first and third base -- but I disregarded them as true contenders for some reason. Of course, I don't know why I held Bilardello in such esteem. His career batting average over eight years was .204.

Something you might know: Bilardello managed in the minor leagues for six years, winning a league championship in his first season with the Great Falls Dodgers in 2002. He's now a catching instructor in the Cardinals' organization.

Something you might not know: Bilardello was a quote machine during his playing days. Some samples:

On his role as a backup to the Padres' Benito Santiago:

"It's a great situation for me because I don't have to go out and show my skills too often."

On being able to grow facial hair after being traded to the Expos from the Reds, where mustaches and beards were banned:

"In Cincinnati we were lucky if we were allowed to have eyebrows."

On his lack of offensive ability:

"I want my stats taken off my baseball card. That's my goal."

My observation on the back: Sparky Lyle won two games in the 1977 ALCS against the Royals.

The blog wants to speak now: OK, I updated the Ballgames, TV and Pop Culture categories this time around. Someday I would like to reverse each category so that the most recent information is the first thing you view, but we'll see. Updating the tabs is time-consuming as it is.


JT ..:.. said...

Those quotes can't possibly be real. If they are, he should be in the Hall of Fame.

This was one of my favorite cards growing up. 1985 was the first year I started collecting cards, though I didn't get too crazy until 1986.

JT, The Writer's Journey

night owl said...

Sports Illustrated says they're real. All of the quotes were taken from there.

Unknown said...

It's safe to say the Reds are still looking for Bench's replacement...

'30-Year Old Cardboard said...

Dann with two NN's - I've never seen that before.

Andy Diver said...

San Antonio (where I was born) used to be a Reds affiliate? Wow, learn something new everyday.