First-round MLB pick in 1971 was a Uvalde-born athlete

Charley Robinson

Staff writer

Who was John David Hilton, born in Uvalde, Texas on Sept. 15, 1950? A 47-year mystery now has some clarity. 

In September of 2017, Leader-News owner/publisher  – and my boss – Craig Garnett handed me an obituary and asked if I knew Dave Hilton.

My initial response was that I had been trying for 45 years or more to find out more about him.

The obituary stated that Hilton was born in Uvalde Sept. 15, 1950; he died unexpectedly two days after his 67th birthday, in Chandler, Arizona, where he had lived for several years.

Let’s go back to the 1971 Major League Baseball draft. The San Diego Padres had first choice that year, and in the first round they selected infielder John David Hilton, from Southwest Texas Junior College and Rice University. The press release revealed he was born in Uvalde.


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