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Monday, June 28, 2021

Brad Hildreth set records in college; Saw two pro seasons, got suspended after 'Bull Durham' stunt


Mississippi State shortstop Brad Hildreth padded his school records list in this May 1989 game and he attempted to explain to The Jackson Clarion-Ledger why he had done so well.

Hildreth's answer came down to longevity and durability, The Clarion-Ledger wrote.

"You can attribute that to the fact that I've started almost every game since my freshman year," Hildreth told The Clarion-Ledger. "I've also been fortunate to not have any bad injuries."

Hildreth soon turned pro. He played two pro seasons. At the end of his second season, Hildreth missed several games, suspended with four other players for participating in a "Bull Durham"-like stunt.

Hildreth's career began in 1989, taken by the Orioles in the 18th round of the draft out of Mississippi State. (While Hildreth is named on the front and back of the card, the photo is of another player.)

Hildreth started with the Orioles at short-season Erie. He got into 65 games and hit .231. 

He then moved to single-A Wausau and high-A Frederick for 1990. He saw five games at Frederick and played 87 at Wausau. He doubled and scored in a May game for Wausau. He went 4 for 6 in a 10-inning June game.

Then, on a trip to South Bend in mid-August, five members of the Wausau Timbers took a taxi to the South Bend stadium, illegally entered and pulled the tarp off the field in rain. All five - including Hildreth - were suspended, and one, John Boothby was released.

The incident ended Hildreth's season with a .239 average and four home runs. Hildreth didn't return for 1991, ending his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,684
Made the Majors:1,255-34.1%
Never Made Majors:2,429-65.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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