Steve Kiefer

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Steven George Kiefer

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Biographical Information[edit]

The brother of Mark Kiefer and father of Cory Kiefer, Steve Kiefer showed good power throughout his minor league career, hitting 141 homers on the farm, but poor contact hitting limited his productivity in the majors.

Kiefer was taken in the 1st round of the January 1981 amateur draft by the Oakland Athletics. He hit .245/~.335/.396 that year for the Medford A's and stole 14 bases in 20 tries. He made the Northwest League All-Star team at shortstop. In 1982, he moved on to the Madison Muskies and batted .234/~.316/.405 with 15 home runs and 36 steals in 46 tries. He made 44 errors at shortstop.

In 1983, he hit .269 with 10 RBI in the Cactus League before being sent to the Albany A's, where he hit .246/~.317/.431 with 19 home runs, 81 RBI and 25 stolen bases in 29 tries. He made 36 errors. He moved to AAA in 1984 with the Tacoma Tigers and hit .268/~.307/.426 with 16 home runs and 19 stolen bases in 24 tries. He was a September call-up to Oakland and was the regular shortstop that month, hitting .175/.209/.300 and not looking like a threat to displace Tony Phillips.

Returning to Tacoma for most of 1985, Steve played third and short and hit .263/~.299/.459. He played a career-high 40 games in the majors, with a .197/.203/.288 batting line for the Athletics.

Kiefer was traded with Mike Fulmer, Pete Kendrick and Charlie O'Brien to the Milwaukee Brewers for Moose Haas in March of 1986. He hit .268/~.336/.453 for the Vancouver Canadians but was just 0 for 6 with the Brewers.

Steve had his best season in 1987. For the Denver Bears, he hit .330/~.392/.668. He was the American Association All-Star third baseman. He finished sixth in the league in average, led in slugging and was second with 31 homers, one behind teammate and leader Brad Komminsk. With the Brewers, he batted .202/.257/.394 with 5 HR and 17 RBI in 99 AB. That year, he hit four grand slams for Denver and one against Scott McGregor of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League. Despite barely eclipsing the Mendoza Line, he had a 7-game hitting streak with the Brewers.

He struggled as a utility infielder for Denver in 1988 (.214/~.285/.408) though he was 3 for 10 with two walks and a home run for the Brewers. With Gary Sheffield coming up as a top power-hitting shortstop and Dale Sveum and Paul Molitor around, options were limited.

Kiefer moved to the New York Yankees as a free agent in 1989. He hit .276/~.331/.455 for the Columbus Clippers and was 1 for 8 with five strikeouts for the Yankees to conclude his major league career.

Steve started 1990 with the Buffalo Bisons, a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate, and hit .273/~.306/.391 in 84 games, before finishing with the Tidewater Tides (.248/~.315/.407 in 35 games).

Moving on to Italy in 1991, Kiefer hit .391/.468/.768 with 15 HR and 29 RBI in 36 games for Telemarket Rimini but only batted .176 in the playoffs as Rimini was eliminated. In 1995, Kiefer was in spring training with the Kansas City Royals as a replacement player during the 1994 strike.

Overall, Kiefer hit .259/~.319/.452 in the minors with 131 steals and 141 home runs in 1,006 games. He batted .192/.234/.351 in the major leagues in 253 plate appearances over 105 games.

After his career ended, Kiefer became an orthotist, making orthopedic braces.

Sources: Mendoza's Heroes by Al Pepper, 1982-1985, 1989 and 1991 Baseball Guides, 1986-1987 Baseball America Statistics Reports, 1988-1991 Baseball Almanacs, Kiefer's stats in Italy

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