Monday, January 03, 2011

#531 Chuck Hiller

#531 Chuck Hiller
Well if it isn't Chuck Hiller, another member of the "30-going-on-50" club. Life must have been harder in those days.

Fun facts about Chuck Hiller:

-Chuck was born in Johnsburg, IL and attended St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN. He signed with the Indians in 1957.

-The Giants drafted him away from Cleveland after his second pro season. He hit over .300 in each of his three seasons in the San Francisco farm system, including an MVP effort with the Texas League's AA Rio Grande Valley squad in 1960 (.334 AVG, .400 OBP, 47 2B, 74 RBI).

-Hiller made the Giants' roster to start the 1961 season, but the 26-year-old was demoted to AAA in early July with a .228 average. He showed some improvement in a brief return engagement, batting .289 with a .400 on-base mark in 11 games at season's end to boost his overall average to .238.

-Back for good in 1962, Chuck batted .276 in a career-high 161 games. He also set personal bests with 94 runs scored, 22 doubles, 48 RBI, and a .341 OBP. His defense left a little something to be desired, however; he committed a league-high 29 errors at second base and earned the moniker "Iron Hands".

-Though the infielder wasn't known for his power, he slugged .500 in the 1962 World Series as four of his seven hits went for extra bases (3 2B, 1 HR). In Game Four, his seventh-inning grand slam broke a 2-2 tie and boosted the Giants to a 7-3 win. It was the first bases-loaded homer by a National Leaguer in the history of the Fall Classic.

-He delivered the only walk-off home run of his career in the bottom of the ninth on July 26, 1963. The two-run shot off of Roy Face broke a 4-4 tie.

-Hiller lasted barely more than two seasons in San Francisco after his good showing in the Series. The Giants dealt him to the Mets in May 1965 after his offense went south.

-He was a capable sub for the Mets in 1966, batting .280 overall and .348 (16-for-46) as a pinch hitter.

-Chuck played sparingly with New York and Philadelphia in 1967 and saw action in just 11 big league games as a Pirate in 1968, his final pro season. In parts of eight seasons he batted .243 with 20 home runs and 152 RBI.

-He stayed involved in the game as a minor league manager and major league coach for two decades following his retirement, often coaching under Hall of Fame skipper Whitey Herzog. The organizations he worked for included the Mets, Rangers, Royals, Cardinals and Giants. His managerial record was 304-320, which included a 74-66 mark with the 1975 Tidewater Tides in his only season at the AAA level. Hiller passed away in October 2004 at age 70.
#531 Chuck Hiller (back)


  1. Its hard to believe that it took until 1962 for an NL player to hit a grandslam in world series play...

  2. Anon - I guess all of the previous NL Series teams were just that frightened by the Yankees, haha.