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Terry Whitfield

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Terry Bertland Whitfield

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[edit] Biographical Information

Terry Whitfield, who played ten seasons in the big leagues, was perhaps the first major league player to go to Japan during the prime of his major league career. He had hit .296 at age 27 before going to play three seasons in Japan.

Whitfield started in the minors in 1971 after being picked in the first round by the New York Yankees. He hit .335 with 18 home runs for Kinston in 1973, and spent 1974-76 with Syracuse, hitting with moderate power. He was up in the majors for a bit in each of 1974-76, getting 81 at-bats with the Yanks in 1975.

Terry got his chance to play more often when the Yankees traded him in March 1977 to the 1977 San Francisco Giants, who made him the # 4 outfielder. In 1978-80 he was the starting leftfielder for the team. In all four of the seasons from 1977-80 he hit around .290.

In early March 1981 the Giants sold him to the Seibu Lions and he played three seasons in Japan, helping the team to a couple of championships. Then, saying he wanted to be closer to his family, he came back to the USA as a Dodger in 1984. He was a back-up on the 1984-86 Dodger teams, appearing in the 1985 NLCS. Released in late May 1986, he played in 1987-88 in the California League.

Steve Ontiveros was a teammate with Seibu. Both had played for San Francisco, but Steve was there in 1973-76 while Terry was there from 1977-80.

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