Jim Aylward

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James Aylward

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Jim Aylward was on teams that won a Nevada state championship in high school and a national champion team in college.

He began his pro baseball career as part of the Philadelphia Phillies organization on the independent Bend Bucks in 1987, hitting .261/~.341/.346. He was released after the season and was signed by Joe Maddon and Bruce Hines of the California Angels. In 1988 he was with a co-op team, the Reno Silver Sox. Aylward hit .271/~.346/.406 in 54 games. In his last game with Reno he hit a game-winning homer against the Palm Springs Angels (whom he would later play for) and then was moved to the Quad City Angels - he hit .262/~.358/.347 in 57 games for the Midwest League team.

In 1989 Jim was moved to third base and returned to Quad City under manager Eddie Rodriguez. He almost led the MWL in doubles, hitting 30, two behind leader Tim Vannaman. Despite a very slow start, overall Aylward batted .293/~.352/.425 and drove in 77. J.R. Phillips replaced him at first base and did far worse. Aylward also finished sixth in the MWL in batting average.

Aylward began the 1990 season with the AA Midland Angels, hitting .263/~.306/.369 in 69 games then was demoted to the Palm Springs Angels in 1990. He hit .347/~.407/.479 and would have led the league in hitting at that pace had he played enough to finish among the qualifiers. He was then the focus of controversy when he was sent down to Quad City on the last day of the season to boost them for the playoff run; he hit the game-winner in the finale, which didn't help the dispute. That gave him championships as a high school player, college player and professional player.

After that Jim went to the Chinese Professional Baseball League where he hit .305 (third in the league) with 14 homers (tied for third) and led the league in hits while setting a new RBI record (the league was only in its second season). He was converted to shortstop that season. He got a big raise after that season but injuries limited his effectiveness and he was released in 1992. The Angels were planning on bringing him back but he instead opted to go to the Mexican League, playing for the Tabasco Olmecas in 1993, where he went 0 for 7 in his last two games.