Today we have a “not so missing” 1976 card for former San Diego Padre third baseman Dave Hilton, who turns out played the last games of his Major League career during the 1975 season:
Hilton, who was picked first overall in the January amateur draft back
in 1871 after coming out of Rice University, appeared in four games for
San Diego in 1975, going hitless in eight at-bats.
He only played parts of four seasons in the Big Leagues, spanning 1972
through 1975, never living up to that early promise coming out of
He’d go on to play another four years of professional ball through the
1981 season but never get the call back up, retiring by the age of 30.
It’s also worth mentioning that in 1977, two years after his last MLB
action, Hilton was given a spot in Topps’ baseball card set airbrushed
into a Toronto Blue Jays uni after being purchased by the new franchise
along with Dave Roberts and John Scott, yet never playing for them.
Just part of the madness that was expansion for Topps that year!
All told, Hilton finished his Big League career with a career .213
batting average over 161 games and 506 at-bats, with 108 hits, 40 runs
scored and 33 runs batted in.