Monday, April 28, 2014

Player Profile: Larry Biittner

I have seventeen cards of Larry Biittner. This one is from 1984 Fleer.

Playing career: Larry Biittner spent fourteen years in the major leagues as an outfielder-first baseman-pinch hitter for the Rangers, Expos, Cubs and Reds. In 1217 major league games, he hit .273 with 29 HR and 354 RBI. He is best known as a Cub, for hitting a walk-off home run on Opening Day 1978 and then the next year losing a ball in his hat in the outfield for a triple. A fuller account of his career can be found at the 1972 Topps blog.

Where he is now: He is retired but helps his brother-in-law plant and harvest corn and soybeans on his Iowa farm.

My memories: He is from before my time, but I used to think that name was a misprint the first few times I saw it. Apparently the family name was originally Büttner but immigration agents who didn’t understand the umlaut over the u changed it to Biittner.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Larry Bii, ahead of Larry Bird, the basketball player. There do not appear to be any other prominent Larry Biittners.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dann Bilardello.

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