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Kudos to Rafael Belliard. For two reasons.

Mar 18, 2011, 2:00 PM EST

Detroit Tigers Photo Day Getty Images

There are two notable things about this article in the Detroit Free Press:

  • It catches us up with former Pirates and Braves shortstop Rafael Belliard, who is friends and neighbors with Luis Salazar. Belliard passes along some encouraging words Salazar told him during a recent hospital visit; and
  • There’s a picture of Belliard — who is now an infield coach for the Tigers — showing current Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta how to field his position.

I defy anyone to look at that pic and tell me that, at least defensively speaking, you wouldn’t rather have Belliard as your shortstop — at age 49 — than Peralta right now.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Mar 18, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    J-HONNY! I kid, but I like his spelling of his name.

  2. nps6724 - Mar 18, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    If only Raffy could’ve hit .260. One of the best fielding SS I’ve ever seen.

    • yashraba - Mar 18, 2011 at 3:00 PM

      him and Rey Ordenez..sick gloves…if only they could hit

  3. clydeserra - Mar 18, 2011 at 2:19 PM

    I didn’t have to look at the picture to say that.

  4. The Rabbit - Mar 18, 2011 at 3:32 PM

    Raffy looked like Dark Helmet when he came to bat. His batting helmet always seemed to be three sizes too large. I loved watching him play, though.
    If memory serves, he was for a time the major league player with the most AB’s without a HR. I actually saw him hit his second and last HR. I think it was late 1997 against the Mets.

  5. sfbookreviews - Mar 20, 2011 at 8:51 PM

    Belliard was always one of my favorite Bucs, but man was he a rally killer. Happy to see him and about 100 former Pirates coaching in Detroit (either now or recently). Makes them one of my favorite AL teams just because of that.

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