The Legend that was Rafael Belliard

There was no major leaguer who ever hit the baseball more softly. In fact in the back yard when we were playing home run derby, we’d often say to the weakling who couldn’t manage a home run “way to fucking go, Rafael Belliard”.

Rafael Belliard played in parts of 17 big league seasons. He was most known for his time with the Atlanta Braves in which he played in 4 World Series. Other then field the baseball and throw the baseball (which he did at a proficient .977 clip) he didn’t offer much.

Belliard hit .227 in 11 postseason series. He went 0 for 16 in the 1995 World Series. He hit 2 big league home runs, and they were 10 years apart. One was off Eric Show (who later committed suicide) and the other was off Brian Bohanon.

And we could ramble on forever about his hideous stats or the fact that he only got 70 some extra base hits in 2301 big league at bats. He walked 136 times and struck out 384 times. The guy defined automatic out. But he got to ride Jeff Blauser’s coat tails and be a major leaguer for almost two decades because he could field. Do you think Rafael Belliard would last 17 major league seasons in present day? No, he wouldn’t. Organizations expect more out of players today. Belliard was imperfectly perfect for his time.

Rafael Belliard career statistics. [Baseball Reference]