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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Steve Bieser made bigs in 9th season, then distracted Cone

Steve Bieser 1990 Batavia Clippers card Rookie Steve Bieser danced around on the baseline at third. It was an attempt by the rookie to distract veteran pitcher David Cone - and it worked, The New York Daily News wrote.

With the Mets down by one, Bieser was on third constantly moving. Soon, Bieser's movements prompted Cone to balk, sending Bieser home and tying the game, The Daily News wrote.

"It might have made him more mad than it really distracted him that I was over there jumping around," Bieser told The Daily News afterward. "But the way he was throwing, we were trying anything to score runs against him."

Bieser might as well have been dancing for another reason. This was his first major league season after eight previous campaigns spent in the minors.

Bieser's road to the majors began in 1989, taken by the Phillies in the 32nd round of the draft, out of Southeast Missouri State University.

With the Phillies, Bieser started at short-season Batavia, playing there in 1989 and in 1990. He moved to single-A Spartanburg in 1991 and then had a 33-game stint with AA Reading in 1992.

He arrived at Reading in July 1992, picking up hits in his first 11 games, The Reading Eagle wrote. He also made an impact in the field, filling holes at catcher and in the outfield. To that point in his minor league career, Bieser had already played each position at one point or another, including pitcher.

"He's just a valuable asset," Reading manager Don McCormack told The Eagle that August. "He's done a pretty good job. That's what we need."

Bieser first made AAA the next season, at Scranton. He then played all of 1994 and 1995 at Scranton, without getting a call to Philadelphia. He then played 1996 with the Expos at AAA Ottawa. Ar Ottawa, Bieser hit .322, but didn't see Montreal.

For 1997, Bieser signed with the Mets. And he made the team out of spring training as the utility guy.

"When you get one at-bat every three days, it can be real frustrating for a young player," Bieser told The Daily News that spring. "You've got to make the most of your opportunities. I just have to keep proving I can be of help off the bench in whatever role they put me."

With the Mets that year, Bieser got into 47 games, getting in as an outfielder and as a catcher. At the plate, he hit .246, knocking in four.
He then returned to the majors in 1998, for 13 appearances with the Pirates, rounding out his major league career. He rounded out his professional career by continuing to play at AAA into 2001.

Bieser has since returned to his old school, Southeast Missouri State University, serving as a coach there since 2011, and as interim head coach in 2013. He previously served as head coach at St. John Vianney High School in St. Louis.

Beiser's Southeast team made the conference tournament as a sixth seed and placed fourth, according to The Southeast Missourian.

"What you've got to be most proud of with this team is that it never quit. They just never gave up," Bieser told The Southeast Missourian. "I was very proud of them for that."
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,175
Made the Majors: 676 - 57.5%-X
Never Made Majors: 499-42.5%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 291
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 174

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