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Vic Davalillo [da-va-LEE-yo], born Víctor José Davalillo Romero (July 31, 1936 in Cabimasmarker, Zulia), is a Venezuelanmarker baseball player who played outfield for the Cleveland Indians (1963-1968), California Angels (1968-1969), St. Louis Cardinals (1969-1970), Pittsburgh Pirates (1971-1973), Oakland Athletics (1973-1974) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1977-1980). Davalillo batted and threw left-handed. He is the youngest brother of former big leaguer Pompeyo Davalillo.

Minor League career

Davalillo began his professional baseball career as a pitcher when he signed a contract as an amateur free agent with the Cinncinnati Reds in 1958. He was sold to the Indians organisation in 1961 where he quickly moved up the ladder to their Triple-A club in Jacksonville. Davalillo won the first batting title in the Jacksonville Suns history with a .346 batting average in 1962.

Major League career

Davalillo joined the Indian's Major League team for the 1963 season and hit a respectable .292 in 90 games. Davalillo was noted for his ability to get on base and his speed in center field. He won a Gold Glove Award in 1964 as a center fielder for the Cleveland Indians. Davalillo was a starter for the American League in 1965 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. He had a .301 batting average in 1965, third in the American League behind Tony Oliva and Carl Yastrzemski, the only other players to break the .300 mark that year. Davalillo was a utility player for the 1971 world champion Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1972, he hit .318 in 117 games to help the Pirates win the Eastern Division pennant. As a member of the Oakland Athletics playing against the Baltimore Orioles in the 1973 American League Championship Series, Davalillo hit for a .625 batting average, including a crucial RBI triple in the deciding Game 5.

After the 1974 season, Davalillo played three seasons in the Mexican League. A lifetime .300 hitter in the Mexican League, Davalillo was the league's top hitter at .384 in 1977, when he was called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is remembered for his clutch, pinch hit performance against the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 3 of the 1977 National League Championship Series. Trailing the Phillies 5-3 with 2 outs in the 9th inning, Davalillo spearheaded a 3-run rally, when he surprised the Phillies by executing a two-strike drag bunt and beating the throw to first base. Manny Mota drove Davalillo home with a double, then scored on a single by Davey Lopes to tie the game. The Dodgers eventually won the game and went on to win Game 4 to clinch the series and earn a berth in the World Series against the New York Yankees.

Davalillo's 24 pinch hits as a St. Louis Cardinal in 1970 broke the National League record at the time, and tied the Major League record set by Dave Philley in 1961. One of the previous National League record holders was also his manager in 1970: Red Schoendienst. Davalillo's record was broken in 1976 by José Morales. In a 16-season career, Davalillo was a .279 hitter (1122-for-4017) with 36 home runs, 329 RBI, 509 runs, 160 doubles, 37 triples, and 125 stolen bases in 1,458 games. He was a fan favorite during his years with the Indians, and became a valuable role player later in his career.

Winter League career

Between 1957 and 1987, Davalillo played in the Venezuelan Winter League for the Leones del Caracas (1957-74, 1987), Portuguesa (1975) and Tigres de Aragua (1976-85). He set lifetime league records that still stand in batting average (.325), hits (1505), games played (1280), at-bat (4633), runs (668), doubles (196) and career seasons (30) . Beside this, he won four batting titles and set record in hits (100) in a season. Davalillo retired at 50 years of age.

Honors

Davalillo was inducted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.

See also



External links



References

  1. Vic Davalillo at Baseball Reference
  2. Vic Davalillo at Baseball Cube
  3. http://armchairgm.wikia.com
  4. Vic Davalillo Trades and Transactions at Baseball Almanac
  5. Baseball Digest, December 1963, Vol. 10, ISSN 0005-609X
  6. 1964 Gold Glove winners at Baseball Reference
  7. 1965 All-Star Game at Baseball Almanac
  8. 1965 All-Star Game at Baseball Reference
  9. 1965 American League Batting Leaders at Baseball Reference
  10. 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates at Baseball Reference
  11. 1972 Pittsburgh Pirates at Baseball Reference
  12. Vic Davalillo post-season batting statistics at Baseball Reference
  13. 1973 American League Championship Series at Baseball Reference
  14. 1973 American League Championship Series Game 5 box score at Baseball Reference
  15. www.netshrine.com
  16. 1977 National League Championship Series at Baseball Reference
  17. You Can't Lose 'Em All: The Year the Phillies Finally Won the World Series by Frank Fitzpatrick
  18. 1977 National League Championship Series Game 3 at Baseball Reference
  19. George Vass, Baseball Digest, November 2004, Vol. 63, No. 11, ISSN 005-609X
  20. Baseball Digest, March 1995, Vol. 54, No. 3, ISSN 005-609X
  21. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com
  22. www.howstuffworks.com
  23. Baseball Digest, June 1999, Vol. 58, No. 6, ISSN 005-609X
  24. Pinch Hitter records at Baseball Almanac
  25. L.A. Times February 8, 1987
  26. Baseball with a Latin beat: a history of the Latin American game By Peter C. Bjarkman, McFarland, 1994, ISBN 0899509738, 9780899509730
  27. Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame at Baseball Reference



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