Belliard as the Detroit Tigers infield coach
|Born: October 24, 1961|
Pueblo Nuevo, Dominican Republic
|September 6, 1982, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|April 9, 1998, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Runs batted in||142|
|Career highlights and awards|
Rafael Leonidas Belliard Matias (born October 24, 1961 in Pueblo Nuevo, Dominican Republic) is a retired Major League Baseball shortstop who played in the Major Leagues from 1982 to 1998 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves. He was a member of Atlanta's 1995 World Series winning team against the Cleveland Indians. He served as the infield and first base coach for the Detroit Tigers from 2006–2013.
Belliard won a silver medal with the Dominican Republic at the 1979 Pan American Games, signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1980 and made his Major League debut as a pinch runner against the New York Mets on September 6, 1982. It was not until 1986 that Belliard became a regular in the Pirates' lineup, batting .233 in 117 games. He remained a versatile yet seldom used player until 1990, when he left Pittsburgh and signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Braves.
Belliard arrived in Atlanta just as the team was emerging as a National League powerhouse. The team made World Series appearances in 1991 and 1992 before finally winning the championship in 1995. Though he had appeared in only 75 games that season, Belliard played shortstop in all six of Atlanta's World Series games.
Belliard made his final Major League appearance on April 9, 1998, in a 4–3 Braves win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He concluded his playing career with the Albany-Colonie Diamond Dogs of the independent Northern League in 1999. He was named the infield coach for the Detroit Tigers on October 11, 2005. Prior to that, he served five seasons in the Atlanta Braves minor league system as a roving fielding instructor.
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