Jim Gilliam: 1953-1966 (2B, 3B, OF)
Switch-hitting Jim Gilliam is the only Dodger player to have his number retired despite not making the Baseball Hall of Fame. It is a testament to his career-long commitment to the team he played and coached for in nine World Series until his life ended tragically during the 1978 NLCS with the Dodgers.
Gilliam, the 1953 NL Rookie of the Year, was so good on the field he pushed Jackie Robinson to third base, taking over at second base his rookie year. At second, Gilliam led the league in fielding percentage in 1957 (.986) and placed in the top five four other times.
Starting in 1958, Gilliam split his time between left field, third and second base. That year, he was in the top five in putouts and assists from left field. The following season, he moved to third base permanently and would place in the top five in fielding percentage, putouts, and assists in 1959-1960.
From 1962 to 1966, Gilliam would fill in wherever he was needed, playing second, third, and in the outfield thanks to his ability to hit from both sides of the plate. Thanks to Gilliam’s versatility at the plate and on the field, the Dodgers won three NL pennants and two World Series.