Introducing… Don Money

A terrific third baseman for the Brewers during the 1970s, Money, a four-time All-Star, was a solid defender with a good bat.  An elite hot corner custodian, Don led third basemen twice in fielding percentage during his career and retired with a .968 fielding percentage at third base–a whopping nineteen points above league average.  With modest power and a well above average glove, Money was one of the top third basemen of the 1970s.

Don made his debut with the 1968 Phillies.  He had a brief four-game trial late in the season but he showed enough to win an everyday assignment in 1969.  The Phillies initially groomed Money as a shortstop, but in 1970 they shifted him over to third base.  His offense spiked after the change in position as Don raised his homerun output from six in 1969 to 14 in ’70.  He hit a robust .295 with a solid .361 on-base percentage as a sophomore but he would slump the next two seasons.  Money hit .223 in 1971 and a point lower in 1972.  With a young Mike Schmidt in town, the Phillies had no further use for the struggling Money and shipped him off to the Brewers with Pete Vuckovich for Ken Brett, Ken Sanders and Jim Lonborg.  Don settled in nicely at Milwaukee.

The change of scenery worked wonders for Don.  He raised his batting average from .222 to .284 and set a career high with 22 stolen bases.  He flashed exceptional leather with a .971 fielding percentage while his position peers fielded at a modest .949 clip.  The following year he would make his first All-Star appearance and set career highs in both hits and doubles.  Showing remarkable consistency in Wisconsin, Money’s batting average and on-base percentage were just one point off from his previous season.  He led third basemen in fielding percentage with a remarkable .989 mark–an amazing 37 points above league average. 

Don enjoyed his best year for run production in 1977 when he was named to his third All-Star team.  He set personal highs with 25 homeruns and 83 RBI while slugging at a nifty .470 clip.  An All-Star again in ’78, Money hit .293 and established his career high in runs scored.  But by this time the Brewers began using Don all over the infield in order to work a young Paul Molitor into the lineup.  He spent more time at first base than he did at the hot corner in ’78.  But 1978 would be Don’s last year as a regular.  An injury limited him to 92 games in 1979 and when the Brewers finally made the Playoffs in 1981, Don was in a platoon situation at third with Roy Howell and Sal Bando.  But Don still had one good year in the tank.  In 1982 he set a career high with a .531 slugging average as he blasted 16 homeruns as a reserve player.  Milwaukee made the World Series that year but fell to St. Louis.  Money played briefly for the Brew Crew the following year, his last in the Majors.

THE NUMBERS

G 1,720/R 798/H 1,623/2B 302/3B 36/HR 176/RBI 729/SB 80/BB 600/SO 866/BA .261/OBP .328/SA .406

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