Just as with their pitching counterparts, the position players with the 1982 Philadelphia Phillies were a mostly veteran-laden bunch who were still legitimate contenders in the National League.
A roster packed with veteran bats is going to see reserve outfielder Bob Molinaro, then a 32-year-old in his seventh of eight seasons in Major League Baseball, as their representative in this ‘Phillies 50’ series featuring players who had a minimal impact on that year’s team combined with a minimal impact over their MLB career.
Molinaro had been the Detroit Tigers second round selection all the way back in the 1968 MLB Draft out of high school in his native Newark, New Jersey. He worked his way through the Tigers system to make a six-game debut with Detroit when rosters expanded in September 1975.
Returning to the Tigers for four games in 1977, he was then waived and claimed by the Chicago White Sox that September in enough time to appear with the Chisox in one game that year.
Molinaro then saw significant time in both 1978 and 1980 with the White Sox as mostly a corner outfielder. That was sandwiched in between a 1979 campaign spent in the Baltimore Orioles organization. He appeared in eight September games with the O’s that year and was with the team when they clinched the AL East crown.
Traded by the White Sox to the cross-town Chicago Cubs at the end of spring training in 1982, Molinaro had his contract sold to the Phillies at the end of August. He would make 19 appearances with the club over the final month, all as a pinch-hitter.
In those 19 pinch-hit plate appearances, Molinaro hit .286 with three walks and two RBIs. He would return to the Phillies in 1983 making 19 more pinch-hit appearances in which he hit .111 with a homer and three RBIs before being released in early June.
Molinaro signed back with his original Detroit Tigers organization when rosters expanded in September 1983, seeing his final eight games of big-league action, all as either a pinch-hitter or pinch-runner.
Attempting a comeback in 1985, Molinaro played in 111 games with Triple-A Rochester in the Baltimore Orioles organization before retiring for good as a player. He got into coaching after that, including minor league managerial stints in the Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and Texas Rangers organizations.
As of June 2019, Molinaro was enjoying his retirement while living in Delray Beach, Florida and just turned 70 years of age in late May 2020.