Larry Biittner

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Larry Biittner
Outfielder / First baseman
Born: (1946-07-27) July 27, 1946 (age 70)
Pocahontas, Iowa [1]
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
July 17, 1970, for the Washington Senators
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1983, for the Texas Rangers
MLB statistics
Batting average .273
Home runs 29
Runs batted in 354

Lawrence David Biittner (born July 27, 1946) is a former professional baseball player whose 14 seasons in Major League Baseball were spread out amongst several teams.

Early baseball career[edit]

Biittner was originally drafted by the Washington Senators in the 10th round of the 1968 amateur draft, and would go on to play several different positions, including all three outfield positions, first base and designated hitter.

On December 20, 1973, the Rangers traded Biittner to the Montreal Expos for Pat Jarvis.[2]

On May 17, 1976, the Expos traded Biittner and Steve Renko to the Chicago Cubs for Andre Thornton.

Work as a pitcher[edit]

On July 4, 1977, Biittner's Chicago Cubs were swept in a double-header by the Montreal Expos. Biittner had thrown three innings during a Cub exhibition game at triple-A Wichita in May 1977, and he had been told to by then-Cubs manager Herman Franks to be ready to pitch in the event of a blowout. Indeed, in the first game of the July 4 double-header, Biittner was brought into the game in the eighth inning with the Expos leading 11-2 and two men on base. Biittner threw a called strike and a ball to the first batter he faced, Larry Parrish. Then, Parrish swung and missed. Finally, on a 1-2 pitch, Parrish hit a three-run home run to deep left field, making the score 14-2. Biittner then struck out the Expos' starter, Jackie Brown to end the inning.

In the ninth inning, Biittner walked the Expos' Dave Cash and then retired Chris Speier. Then, Ellis Valentine homered to left to make the game 16-2. Biittner then gave up two more singles and served up a third home run to Andre Dawson.

In total, Biittner yielded up six earned runs and striking out three in 1-1/3 innings pitched.

Later career[edit]

Biittner was a good contact hitter. His best season came with the Cubs in 1977 when he played in a career-high 138 games, hit 28 doubles and batted .298. In October 1980, Biittner filed for free agency.[2] On January 12, 1981, he signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Reds.[2] He played for the Reds for two seasons until he was released in December 1982.[2]

Biittner's role in the second half of his career was as a pinch-hitter and he became quite successful, finishing 12th all-time in total pinch hits at the end of his career with 95. Biittner was also the first free agent signed by the Reds. Cincinnati famously avoided signing free agents during the late '70s before finally jumping in with the Biittner signing in 1981.[3]

Later in December 1982, the Texas Rangers signed Biittner as a free agent.[2] After one season with the Rangers, Biittner was released on October 31, 1983.[2]


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