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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Dave Silvestri played baseball in the Olympics and in bigs: Saw time in eight ML seasons

University of Missouri shortstop Dave Silvestri made the rounds during his college career, including in Cuba with Team USA - then with the team in Seoul for the 1988 Olympics.

To his hometown St. Louis Post-Dispatch in May 1988, Silvestri recounted how much he loved all the playing and travel to that point.

"It's something I wanted to do ever since I can remember - play baseball," Silvestri told The Post-Dispatch then. "Wherever it is."

Silvestri eventually got to play the game in the pros - and the majors. His major league career spanned eight seasons, 181 big league games, including a high of 86 games with the Expos in 1996.

Silvestri's career began in 1988, taken by the Astros in the second round of the draft out of Missouri.

Silvestri started with the Astros after his Olympics stint, in 1989 at single-A Osceola. He hit .254 in 129 games there. The Astros then traded him to the Yankees for 1990.

Silvestri played 1990 largely at high-A Prince William. He hit .258 in 131 games. He then saw AA Albany-Colonie in 1991 and AAA Columbus in 1992.

In late-April 1992, he made the Bronx. He got into seven games for the Yankees that year. In May 1992, he spoke to The Post-Dispatch about his first stint in the bigs that saw him sit a lot.

"My main goal for this year is to make the Yankees make a decision about me," Silvestri told The Post-Dispatch. "What do they want to do? I want them to have to figure it out, and to make it tough on them."

Silvestri hit .279 in 118 at Columbus the rest of that year. He then returned to the Yankees for seven more games in 1993 and 12 in 1994.

He saw 17 in 1995, before getting traded to the Expos. He saw 39 more games there. He hit .226 on the year.

Silvestri then became a virtual regular with the Expos in 1996. In his 86 games with the team that year, he hit .204, with one home run and 17 RBI.

He saw two games with the Rangers in 1997 and eight with the Rays in 1998. He worked with the hitting coach at AAA Durham with the Rays in 1998 to improve his swing and average, hoping it would pay off with more big league time, The Tampa Bay Times wrote.

"It's not just a hot streak because they don't last a month," Silvestri told The Times after hitting .430 over 93 at bats that July. "This is a new, better swing, and I'm a better, more consistent hitter."

Silvestri finished out his career in 1999, with three final games with the Angels. 

He's then credited with a , managing at short-season Hudson Valley in 2000 and rookie Great Falls in 2001.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,082
Made the Majors:1,353-33.2%-X
Never Made Majors:2,729-66.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:551-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:334

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