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Thursday, January 26, 2012

George Bonilla made college record book, saw 6 pro seasons

George Bonilla 1990 Phoenix Firebirds card

George Bonilla still appears in the UC Santa Barbara record book.

His 10 wins for the team in 1985 still rank tied for fourth best in school history. His 89 strikeouts rank tied for seventh. His 18 starts and 8 complete games both rank second.

In April, Bonilla threw a complete-game, four-hitter.

For his career, which lasted just two seasons at Santa Barbara after coming out of junior college, Bonilla's 18 wins is still tied for 10th.

Bonilla took that career with Santa Barbara to the Giants, signing as a 14th round draft pick that year in 1985. Bonilla, though, couldn't take it to the majors. In a professional career that spanned six seasons, he made it to AAA, but no higher.

Before heading to Santa Barbara, Bonilla pitched at Saddleback College. Over two seasons there, Bonilla pitched well enough to make the school's athletic Hall of Fame.

Bonilla spent his first year as a pro with the Giants at short-season Everett, going 4-6, with a 4.12 ERA. In an August game, Bonilla left in the seventh with a lead, but got a no-decision.

He moved to single-A Clinton in 1986, switching to generally relief. In 39 outings, he posted a 2.45 ERA, the first of four Bonilla seasons with a sub-3 ERA.

At single-A Fresno in 1987, Bonilla topped 100 strikeouts, with 102 in 120 innings of work. He moved to AA Shreveport for 1988, posting another 2.65 ERA. Then it was back to Shreveport for 1989 and a 2.88 ERA.

For 1990, Bonilla hit AAA for the first time, what would be his only time. At Phoenix, he got into 36 games in relief. His ERA, though, jumped to 5.09. Nine more outings at Shreveport and Bonilla's career was done, short of the majors.
George Bonilla 1990 Phoenix Firebirds card
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Featured:
665/880 - 75.6%
Players/Coaches Featured:
Made the Majors:
456 - 68%
Never Made the Majors:
5+ Seasons in the Majors:
10+ Seasons in the Minors:

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