Born: February 14, 1951|
Port Norris, New Jersey
|April 6, 1974, for the Houston Astros|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1984, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Runs batted in||184|
|Career highlights and awards|
Lawrence William "Larry" Milbourne (born February 14, 1951, in Port Norris, New Jersey) is a retired professional baseball player whose career spanned 15 seasons, 11 of which were spent in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Houston Astros (1974–76), the Seattle Mariners (1977–1980, 1984), the New York Yankees (1981–82, 1983), the Minnesota Twins (1982), the Cleveland Indians (1982), and the Philadelphia Phillies (1983). Over his major league career, Milbourne primarily played second base, but on occasion played shortstop, third base, and left field. Milbourne compiled a career MLB batting average of .254 with 71 doubles, 24 triples, 11 home runs, and 184 runs batted in (RBIs) in 989 games played. During his playing career, Milbourne's height was listed at 6 feet (180 cm) and his weight was listed at 161 pounds (73 kg). He was a switch hitter who threw right-handed.
On June 18, 1969, Milbourne signed as an amateur free agent with the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore assigned him to their rookie-level minor league affiliate, the Bluefield Orioles of the Appalachian League. With Bluefield that season, Milbourne batted .305 with 75 hits, 10 doubles, six triples, and four home runs in 68 games played. Defensively, he played shortstop. On April 7, 1970, he was released by Baltimore. At the start of the 1971 season, after being out of professional baseball for a season, Milbourne was signed by the San Francisco Giants. The Giants assigned him to their Class-A affiliate, the Decatur Commodores of the Midwest League. In 123 games with the Commodores that season, he batted .301 with 69 runs scored, 156 hits, 23 doubles, five triples, five home runs, 38 runs batted in (RBIs), and 21 stolen bases. In the field, Milbourne primarily played second base, but also saw limited time at shortstop and third base. He led the league in hits, plate appearances (543), and at-bats (518) that season.
At the end of the 1971 season, Milbourne was selected by the California Angels in the minor league draft. During the 1972 season, Milbourne played his first and only season in the Angels organization. He was assigned to the Double-A Shreveport Captains of the Texas League. He batted .264 with 110 hits, 14 doubles, five triples, and two home runs in 122 games played that year. On defense, he only played second base. After the season, Milbourne was again selected in the minor league draft, this time by the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1973, the Cardinals assigned him to the Triple-A Tulsa Oilers, where he batted .283 with 104 hits, 13 doubles, six triples, and five home runs in 111 games played. The Cardinals added Milbourne to their 40-man roster after the season.
During the 1973 Rule 5 draft, Milbourne was selected by the Houston Astros from the St. Louis Cardinals. He started the season with the Astros in 1974. On April 6, against the San Francisco Giants, Milbourne made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut, but did not make a plate appearance. His offensive debut came on April 9, against the San Diego Padres, where he went hitless in one at-bat. Milbourne got his first MLB hit on April 11, against the Padres. In his first major league season, Milbourne batted .279 with 31 runs scored, 38 hits, two doubles, one triple, and nine RBIs in 112 games played. In the field, he played 87 games at second base, eight games at shortstop, and four games in left field. After the season, Milbourne was named to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team.
At the start of spring training in 1975, Milbourne failed to report to the Houston Astros, and his whereabouts were unknown. However, he did eventually report and made his season debut on April 8, against the Atlanta Braves. On September 23, in a game against the Cincinnati Reds, Milbourne hit his first career MLB home run. That season, Milbourne batted .212 with 17 runs scored, 32 hits, one double, two triples, one home run, and nine RBIs in 73 games played. Defensively, Milbourne was positioned at second base for 43 games, and 22 at shortstop. He also played in 24 games in the minor leagues that season with the Astros Triple-A affiliate, the Iowa Oaks. With the Oaks, Milbourne batted .221 with nine runs scored, 17 hits, three doubles, one triple, one home run, and six RBIs in 86 at-bats. He made the Astros major league roster out of spring training in 1976. On May 2, 1976, in the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets, Milbourne hit a game-winning single in the ninth inning. In the majors that year, he batted .248 with 22 runs scored, 36 hits, four doubles, and seven RBIs in 59 games played. In the field, he played exclusively at second base. In June 1976, Milbourne was optioned to the minor leagues. In the minors that season, he played with the Triple-A Memphis Blues, batting .325 with 45 runs scored, 95 hits, 12 doubles, two triples, five home runs, 31 RBIs, and 12 stolen bases in 71 games played.
On March 30, 1977, the Seattle Mariners acquired Milbourne from the Houston Astros in exchange for Roy Thomas. Milbourne delivered the Mariners first game-winning hit on April 8, 1977. During the 1977 season, he batted .219 with 24 runs scored, 53 hits, 10 doubles, two home runs, and 21 RBIs in 86 games played. On defense, he played 41 games at second base, 40 games at shortstop, and one game at third base. He also played one game as the Mariners designated hitter. He again made the Mariners roster in 1978. Milbourne commented on his role as the Mariners utility infielder that year by saying, "I know it's my role to fill in. [...] I'd prefer to play more". On August 3, Milbourne got another game-winning hit, this time against the Minnesota Twins. On the season, he batted .226 with 31 runs scored, 53 hits, six doubles, two triples, two home runs, and 20 RBIs in 93 games played. Milbourne played 32 games at third base, 23 games at shortstop, and 15 games at second base. In 10 games that season, Seattle used Milbourne as the designated hitter.
In 1979, Milbourne made the Mariners Opening Day roster for the third consecutive season. In 123 games played that year, he batted .278 with 40 runs scored, 99 hits, 13 doubles, four triples, two home runs, and 26 RBIs. Defensively, Milbourne played 65 games at shortstop, 49 at second base, and 11 at third base.
- General references
- "Larry Milbourne Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Larry Milbourne Minor League Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- Inline citations
- Larry Milbourne, New York Yankees. Accessed July 23, 2014.
- "Larry Milbourne Stats". Baseball-Almanac.com. Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Larry Milbourne Trades and Transactions". Baseball-Almanac.com. Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "1971 Midwest League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Wise, Carbo Go To Bosox". Herald-Journal. Associated Press. October 27, 1973. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Phillies draft Crosby in first round". Lakeland Ledger. Associated Press. December 4, 1973. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Larry Milbourne 1974 Batting Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Cards' McBride Tips Rookie Team". The Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. November 6, 1974. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Phils, Braves begin trade talks on Allen". The Milwaukee Sentinel. February 27, 1975. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Larry Milbourne 1975 Batting Gamelogs". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
- "Mets, Astros Split Pair". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 3, 1976. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- "Transactions". Lakeland Ledger. June 24, 1976. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- "Sports in Brief". Spokane Daily Chronicle. March 31, 1977. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- "Mariners Firsts". MLB.com. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- "Baseball: American League". The Leader-Post. February 16, 1978. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- "Royals reek in Seattle". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. May 23, 1978. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- Nelson, John (August 4, 1978). "Mariners 6, Twins 5". The Times-News. Associated Press. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
- "Mariners set roster". Tri City Herald. Associated Press. April 3, 1979. Retrieved November 29, 2010.