SWVA native, former MLB pitcher Dave Hillman dies at the age of 95

Dave Hillman, who traveled a unique path from Dungannon, Virginia, to Major League Baseball mounds, died Sunday at the age of 95.

He passed away from natural causes according to a social media post and blog entry from Gaylon White, a baseball author/historian.

The right-handed pitcher compiled a 21-37 record with three saves and a 3.87 ERA in a 188-game big league career that spanned from 1955-1962 and featured stints with the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets .

“I can’t explain the excitement and the thrill of being there and making it,” Hillman said in a 2008 interview with the Bristol Herald Courier. “I was lucky.”

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Prior to his death, Hillman was the oldest living New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds player.

His MLB career was memorable as he had a locker next to the legendary Ernie Banks at Wrigley Field, played for the inaugural edition of the New York Mets managed by Casey Stengel, faced Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers in his MLB debut and struck out 18 but eventually elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, including such icons as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Stan Musial.

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