Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Vic Davalillo passed away Thursday at the age of 84. Davalillo began his 16-year MLB career with the then-Cleveland Indians and it concluded with four seasons spent playing for the Dodgers.
In addition to the Indians (1963-1968) and Dodgers (1977-1980), Davalillo played for the California Angels (1968-1969), St. Louis Cardinals (1969-1970), Pittsburgh Pirates (1971-1973) and Oakland Athletics (1973-1974).
Davalillo’s professional career technically began with the Cincinnati Reds, who signed him as an international free agent out of Venezuela in August 1958. His contract was then purchased by Cleveland in October 1961.
Although Davalillo was a Gold Glove outfielder early into his career, he primarily filled the role of a pinch-hitter while playing for the Dodgers.
Una leyenda de Cabimas, una leyenda de nuestra tierra. ¡Que descanse en paz, "Vitico"! 🕊️ pic.twitter.com/pSe7uiwmxq
— MLB Venezuela (@MLBVenezuela) December 7, 2023
Over parts of four seasons with L.A., Davalillo batted .297/.317/.354 with four doubles, one triple, one home run, 17 RBI and four stolen bases in 135 games.
His most memorable moment came against the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1977 National League Championship Series. Davalillo pinch-hit for Steve Yeager and reached on a drag bunt in the ninth inning.
Manny Mota then pinch-hit for Lance Rautzhan and delivered a double that scored Davalillo to cut the Dodgers’ deficit to 5-4. Davey Lopes then reached on an infield RBI base hit, and later moved into second base on an errant pickoff throw.
Bill Russell’s RBI single gave the Dodgers a decided lead in Game 3 of the best-of-five series.
Vic Davalillo career highlights
Among other accomplishments, Davalillo was an All-Star, Gold Glove winner and won two World Series titles in four appearances. Neither of Davalillo’s championships came with the Dodgers, as they were on the losing side in 1977 and 1978 against the New York Yankees.
The Dodgers didn’t win their first World Series against the Yankees until 1981.
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