Almon attended Brown University in his native Providence, Rhode Island, was named
TSN College Player of the Year, and was the first player chosen in the June 1974 draft, signing with the Padres for $100,000. Tall and rangy, Almon became starting shortstop for San Diego in
1977, but Ozzie Smith came along in 1978 and Almon was relegated to utility duty.
Released by the Mets in 1980, in 1981 Almon was second in AL Comeback Player of the
Year voting, batting .301 for Chicago, the best batting average for a starting AL
shortstop in 11 years. He returned to a utility role with Oakland and Pittsburgh.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 5, 1974:
The June draft produces just 725 picks, the fewest in history, and only 300 of these are from the college ranks, with the low number blamed on the introduction of aluminum bats this past season. The Padres, with their 3rd number-one free-agent pick in five years, select Brown University SS Bill Almon, the TSN College Player of the Year. They had selected him three years earlier out of high school, but he attended college instead. The Rangers take P Tommy Boggs with the 2nd pick and the Phils follow with prep OF Lonnie Smith. With the 5th pick, the Braves select Dale Murphy; the Angels, picking 10th take the ill-fated Mike Miley, who quarterbacked LSU to a win in the Orange Bowl. the Tigers take Lance Parrish with the 16th pick, the Royals pick prep football star Willie Wilson with the 18th, and the Red Sox, picking 20th, take SS Eddie Ford, son of Whitey Ford. Picking next, the Dodgers get Rick Sutcliffe. The Orioles, with the 24th pick in round one pick Rich Dauer, the top player for USC's championship team; four of their other picks will end up in the NFL (QB's Andy Johnson, Steve Bartkowski, and John Sciarra, and Anthony Davis). The Cards use a pick on the NFL Giants Brad Van Pelt, the 5th time he's been selected. The Twins pick up prep C Butch Wynegar, who will make the American League All-star team at age 20.
»April 11, 1982: At Yankee Stadium, the Yankees finally open with a 7–6 loss to Chicago in 12 innings, then drop a 2–0 nitecap. The grounds crew is feted because of their efforts in getting the snow-covered field ready, and grounds crew chief Esposito tosses out the first ball. Jerry Koosman and Ron Guidry are the starters but Koosman gives up six runs in five 2/3 inning and Guidry four runs in four innings to earn showers. Goose Gossage, the last of four pitchers, gives up a leadoff triple to Bill Almon in the 12th and Ron LeFlore drives him home with one of his three hits on the day. Kevin Hickey wins with an inning of relief.
»May 25, 1985: Rick Rhoden wins his 100th and Bill Almon hits his 1st grand slam as the Pirates thump the Braves, 8–2.