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Don Money

Sport: Baseball

Born: June 7, 1947

Town: Vineland

Donald Wayne Money was born June 7, 1947 in Washington DC. The family owned property in Vineland and his parents moved there where he was an infant. Don spent the first 10 years of his life in South Jersey, before the Moneys moved back to the Washington area. Don was a sure-handed shortstop and excellent hitter in youth league ball, and became the star of Dick Stone’s La Plata High School Warriors as a junior and senior. He also pitched for the team. His favorite player was Harmon Killebrew, who played for the Senators before they moved to Minnesota in 1961.

In the spring of 1965, Don was invited to two tryout camps the Pittsburgh Pirates were holding in Virginia. After the second one Syd Thrift signed him and Don began his pro career with the Salem Rebels of the Appalachian League. Bob Moose and Gene Garber were among his teenaged teammates. In 1967, Don batted .310 with 16 homers for Raleigh of the Carolina League. He was named league MVP.

After the season, Don was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies as part of a package for ace Jim Bunning. He made the team out of spring training in 1968 and knocked in both runs in a 2–0 victory over the Dodgers in his first game. Manager Gene Mauch preferred to play veteran shortstop Bobby Wine, however, and Don went back to the minors. A year later, he was the Phillies’ everyday shortstop. In 1970, Don moved to third to accommodate rookie Larry Bowa. The two stellar glove men gave the Phillies an airtight left side.

Dmoney2In 1973, the Phillies felt Mike Schmidt was ready to take over at third. They traded Don to the Milwaukee Brewers, where he immediately led the AL in fielding—eclipsing the player for whom he’d been nicknamed, “Brooks” (Robinson). Don batted leadoff for Milwaukee and, in 1974, led the AL with 629 at bats. He moved to second base in 1977 after Sal Bando joined the club and later served as a DH. That year he achieved career highs with 25 home runs and 83 RBIs.

Don played for the Brewers through the 1983 season. He was an All-Star four times and garnered MVP votes in 1974 and 1978. In 1978, he was the first Brewer to be voted a starter in the All-Star Game, at second base. Ironically, he was playing first at the time, subbing for an injured Cecil Cooper.

Don got three hits in the 1982 World Series, which the Brewers lost in seven games to the Cardinals.

In 1984, Don was offered a contract with the Kintetsu Buffaloes in Japan. His family was living on the farm in Vineland at the time and they decided to give it a try. Don was leading the league in homers and the Buffaloes were in first place, but his wife and kids were miserable. He left Japan in mid-season.

Don started managing and coaching in the minors in the late 1980s primarily the Brewers, In 2005, he was named Southern League Manager of the Year with the Huntsville Stars. In 2011, Don became the Brewers’ special instructor of player development. Around that time, Don's grandson (and namesake) became a star pitcher and hitter for Vineland High.

 

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