Monday, November 25, 2013

Baseball card stories from Tim Dillard

The son of former major leaguer Steve Dillard, pitcher Tim Dillard appeared in 73 games for the Brewers from 2008 to 2012, going 1-4 with a 4.70 ERA. He split the 2013 season between Lancaster and Nashville, going 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA.

"My dad, 2 older brothers, and myself had huge collection of baseball cards, sets, cereal box cards, you name it.
- [Favorite Story]
   My dad played in the big leagues for several years before I was born. And by the time I came along he began coaching in the minor leagues. My dad always sported a mustache on his 8 or 10 MLB cards, but for years when I was little, I got him confused with my cards of Mike Schmidt.

- [Favorite Card]
   When I was 10 my dad was coaching A ball for the Astros in Quad City, Iowa. Billy Wagner was coming through the system and I shined his shoes. He made the Midwest League all-star team. After the break he brought me back an all-star team card set. 2 or 3 years later I was scanning that set and found an Appleton Fox shortstop named Alex Rodriguez.
   At the time it was a rare card. And in those days I couldn't even find a value on it. I scrapped my money together and bought the biggest hard plastic holder with the screws in the corners to keep it safe.

- [Sadly]
   When I was 16, my family's house accidentally caught fire, and subsequently burned to the ground. With all our huge collections inside.
   My dad lost his 3 Nolan Ryan rookie cards that he'd had for decades. My oldest brother lost his Ken Griffey Jr. Upper Deck Rookie. My brother had several Catfish Hunter signed cards. I had every Astros from '89-'94 signed cards lost.
   But as I sifted through the rubble over the first few weeks of my junior year in high school I found it. I found my Alex Rodriguez card! Unfortunately it was still in the plastic holder and it had melted into a giant warped plastic ball!

   After the wind was knocked out of us like that, none of us ever collected cards again. Over the last 15 years many baseball people all over the country have generously given me cards of my dad. It's a heart warming feeling every time."

Thanks! Here is a card of him from my collection, from 2012 Topps.


  1. I could get a bunch of Steve's cards to him, if he wants. If so, contact me at Johngy1 at aol

  2. You should take all of these awesome stories and put them in a book. I know I'd buy a copy.

    Mr. Dillard's story about the house fire is probably my number one fear. I would probably cry if my collection was destroyed.