Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Phillies Missing Links of the 1980s - #11 Jeff Bittiger

Jeffrey Scott Bittiger
Starting Pitcher

When rosters initially expanded in September 1986, the Phillies recalled outfielder Chris James, infielder Greg Legg and starting pitcher Jeff Bittiger.  Bittiger had come to the Phillies along with catcher Ronn Reynolds in January in a deal with the Mets that sent two prospects to New York.  He had a decent season with Triple-A Portland (13-8, 4.15 ERA) and the Phillies needed starting pitching help during the final month of their season, so he got the call-up.

In three starts, Bittiger would go 1-1 with a 5.52 ERA and the Phils ended up releasing him in December.  His longest stint in the Majors came in 1988 with the White Sox when he appeared in 25 games, earning him a number of mainstream baseball cards in 1989.  Bittiger pitched professionally with the Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks for seven seasons between 1996 and 2002, finally retiring at the age of 40.

Bats:  Right  Throws:  Right  Height:  5'10"  Weight:  175
Born:  April 13, 1962, Jersey City, NJ
Drafted:  Drafted by the New York Mets in the 7th round of the June 1980 amateur player draft
Major League Teams:  Phillies 1986, Minnesota Twins 1987, Chicago White Sox 1988-1989
Professional Affiliations:  New York Mets 1980-1985, Phillies 1986, Minnesota Twins 1987, Chicago White Sox 1988-1989, Los Angeles Dodgers 1990, Cleveland Indians 1991, Oakland Athletics 1992, Rochester Aces (Independent) 1993, Kansas City Royals 1993, Winnipeg Goldeyes (Independent) 1994-1995, Oakland Athletics 1995, Fargo-Moorhead Red Hawks 1996-2002

Phillies Career
3 games, 1-1, 5.52 ERA in 14 2/3 innings pitched
Acquired:  Acquired from the New York Mets with Ronn Reynolds for Rodger Cole and Ronnie Gideon, January 16, 1986.
Debut:  September 2, 1986 - Lasted five innings against the Padres, allowing five runs on six hits.
Final Game:  October 4, 1986
Departed:  Released on December 8, 1986, and signed as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves, December 20, 1986.

1986 ProCards
Portland Beavers #1
1988 Score Rookie &
Traded #66T
1989 Topps #209
1989 Upper Deck #509
1 Bittiger Baseball Card in My Collection
First Card:  1986 ProCards Portland Beavers#1

Other Baseball Cards
First Mainstream Card:  1988 Score Rookie & Traded #66T
First Topps Base Card:  1989 Topps #209
Last Mainstream Card:  1989 Upper Deck #509
Other Notable Cards:  1982 TCMA Jackson Mets #1, 1989 Bowman #60, 1989 Score #512, 2003 Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks Team Issue #35

Sources:  Baseball Reference and The Trading Card Database

This is a continuing series looking at those players who spent time with the Phillies but possess no baseball card proof of their time in Philadelphia.  I will make my way through the decade of the 1980s first and then work my way forward.  In some cases, the First and Last Mainstream cards listed above have been subjectively chosen if multiple cards were released in that year.


Y2Jin99 said...

Homered in his first ML at Bat off Bob Kipper I believe.

Jim said...

Impressive that you'd remember that! It looks like it was his second at-bat, and it was in fact off Bob Kipper: