Chuck Hiller

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Chuck Hiller
Chuck Hiller 1961.JPG
Hiller in 1961
Second baseman
Born: (1934-10-01)October 1, 1934
Johnsburg, Illinois
Died: October 20, 2004(2004-10-20) (aged 70)
St. Petersburg Beach, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 11, 1961, for the San Francisco Giants
Last MLB appearance
June 2, 1968, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
Batting average .243
Home runs 20
Runs batted in 152
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Charles Joseph Hiller (October 1, 1934 – October 20, 2004) was an American professional baseball player, coach and manager. Hiller, a second baseman, appeared in 704 games over eight seasons (1961–68) in Major League Baseball as a member of the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates. He became the first National League player in history to hit a grand slam home run in World Series play. The homer came at Yankee Stadium during Game 4 of the 1962 World Series against left-handed relief pitcher Marshall Bridges on October 8. The seventh-inning slam broke a 2–2 deadlock and provided the winning margin in San Francisco's eventual 7–3 victory.[1]

Born in Johnsburg, Illinois, Hiller batted left-handed, threw right-handed, and was listed as 5 feet 11 inches (1.80 m) tall and 170 pounds (77 kg). He attended the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) and was signed by the Cleveland Indians as a free agent in 1957. He spent two seasons in the lower echelons of Cleveland's farm system before the Giants selected him in the minor league baseball draft.

After a 70-game trial with the 1961 Giants, Hiller made the 1962 edition and became the Giants' regular second baseman. He set a career high in games played (161), runs scored (94), hits (166), doubles (22) and runs batted in (48). He went three-for-10 and played errorless ball in the field during the tie-breaker series with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then, during the World Series, ultimately won by the New York Yankees, he batted .269 overall (7-for-26) and turned seven double plays during the Series' seven games.

Hiller's batting average plummeted from 1962's .276 to .223 in 1963 and the following season he was supplanted by Hal Lanier as the Giants' regular second baseman. For the remainder of his active MLB career, he was a utility infielder. He hit .243 with 516 hits and 20 home runs in his 704 games the Majors.

When he retired after the 1968 season, he became a minor league manager in the Pirates' organization for a year, then returned to the Mets in a similar capacity, working for the Mets' director of player development, Whitey Herzog, through 1972. He then served under manager Herzog as an MLB coach with the Texas Rangers, Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals, and later spent brief terms in the post with the Giants and the Mets. In between his big-league assignments, Hiller served the Mets as a longtime infield instructor in their minor league system, and managed in the Cardinals' organization.

He died from leukemia at age 70 in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Retrosheet box score: 1962 World Series, Game 4

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Wayne Terwilliger
Texas Rangers third base coach
1973
Succeeded by
Frank Lucchesi
Preceded by
Harry Dunlop
Kansas City Royals third base coach
1976–1979
Succeeded by
Gordon Mackenzie
Preceded by
Jack Krol
St. Louis Cardinals third base coach
1981–1983
Succeeded by
Nick Leyva
Preceded by
Danny Ozark
San Francisco Giants third base coach
1985
Succeeded by
Gordon Mackenzie
Preceded by
Bud Harrelson
New York Mets third base coach
1990
Succeeded by
Mike Cubbage