Chilcott, who had been traded to the New York Yankees before the 1972 season, was released in the middle of that season. He tried to rejoin the Mets, but they were too busy preparing for the next draft to bother.
At 24, his baseball career was over.
Chilcott said he was disappointed more than depressed, particularly as he watched players such as Tug McGraw and Ken Singleton--his minor league teammates--go on to major league careers.
"For a while, after I got out of ball, I followed the guys I used to play with," Chilcott said, "and I wondered what would have or could have happened."
Chilcott went back to school. His family had moved from the Antelope Valley to Santa Barbara shortly after he graduated high school, so he enrolled at Santa Barbara City College, where firefighting piqued his interest.
He pursued a career as a firefighter in the mid-1970s, working as a temporary in the Santa Barbara Fire Dept. But after several years, frustrated that he could not get a full-time job, Chilcott realized--again--that it might be best to pursue another career.
After helping a friend remodel homes, he seemed to have found his niche. In 1980, the same year he married, Chilcott became a full-time contractor. Today he proudly talks about how he supervises construction of homes.
Chilcott also dabbles in real estate, renting apartments and houses he owns in California and Arizona to help him live comfortably in Santa Barbara. As for baseball, Chilcott coached Little League briefly several years ago, and he follows major league baseball on television, but that's it.
Chilcott's baseball career is now a distant memory. He said he hardly ever thinks about his days in the minors, except when he's out sweating on a construction site and feels a twinge in his right shoulder. Twenty-seven years later, it still hurts.
Should have gone to third, Steve.
We're No. 1
A look at the players selected first in each major league June draft, along with the highest level reached by the player.
Year Club Player, Position Highest Level 1965 Athletics Rick Monday, of Majors 1966 Mets Steve Chilcott, c Triple A 1967 Yankees Ron Blomberg, 1b Majors 1968 Mets Tim Foli, ss Majors 1969 Senators Jeff Burroughs, of Majors 1970 Padres Mike Ivie, c Majors 1971 White Sox Danny Goodwin, c Majors 1972 Padres Dave Roberts, 3b Majors 1973 Rangers David Clyde, lhp Majors 1974 Padres Bill Almon, ss Majors 1975 Angels Danny Goodwin, c Majors 1976 Astros Floyd Bannister, lhp Majors 1977 White Sox Harold Baines, of Majors 1978 Braves Bob Horner, 3b Majors 1979 Mariners Al Chambers, of Majors 1980 Mets Darryl Strawberry, of Majors 1981 Mariners Mike Moore, rhp Majors 1982 Cubs Shawon Dunston, ss Majors 1983 Twins Tim Belcher, rhp Majors 1984 Mets Shawn Abner, of Majors 1985 Brewers B.J. Surhoff, c Majors 1986 Pirates Jeff King, 3b Majors 1987 Mariners Ken Griffey Jr., of Majors 1988 Padres Andy Benes, rhp Majors 1989 Orioles Ben McDonald, rhp Majors 1990 Braves Chipper Jones, ss Majors 1991 Yankees Brien Taylor, lhp Double A 1992 Astros Phil Nevin, 3b Triple A 1993 Mariners Alex Rodriguez, ss Majors 1994 Mets Paul Wilson, rhp Class A