Card: 1988 Topps #542
“My biggest asset is that I play hard,” he said. “I hustle all the time." (Paul Noce, The Greatest 21 Days)
Paul David Noce (born December 16, 1959) is a former professional baseball player who played for the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds of the Major League Baseball (MLB). After attending Washington State University, infielder Paul was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 14th round of the 1981 amateur draft. In 1984, he was traded to the Chicago Cubs organization for minor league outfielder Terry Austin. He was selected as a Topps All-Star for his play in Affiliated Baseball at the AA level.
He debuted for the Cubs on June 1, 1987 against the Houston Astros and started 47 games in place of regular second baseman Ryne Sandberg and regular shortstop Shawon Dunston.
Paul’s aggressive baserunning was visible as he tied an unusual major-league record on June 26. At Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, he singled to lead off the third inning. He was caught stealing second but stayed on base because Pirates shortstop Al Pedrique dropped the ball for an error. He then lit out for third, but catcher Mike Lavalliere threw him out for the second time in the inning. It was just the third time that had happened in the majors to that point – but oddly enough, the second time in 11 days.
Noce was back in the minors in 1988 and was dealt to the Montreal Expos for Bryan Oelkers that July. After being let go by the Expos that fall, he spent the following summer in the Seattle Mariners organization. Signed by the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 1990 campaign, he spent most of the season with the AAA Nashville Sounds but appeared in one game for (the soon to be World Champion) Reds, pinch hitting for Ron Oester and getting a single. His playing career ended after 16 games in the San Francisco Giants chain in 1991.
Following his playing days, Noce was a roving baserunning instructor for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1992 and 1993. In 1994, he became the head coach at Hillsdale College amassing a record of 349-548-1 before stepping down in 2013 after 20 seasons.
Paul's father, John Noce, spent 1952-1953 in the California League then went on to become the winningest junior college coach in California during his time at San Mateo Junior College. His brother Doug was a minor league catcher and college coach.
Paul Noce is part of the Born in San Fran/Oakland/Sacramento Tour – Go to the Next Stop
Paul is also part of the Chicago Cubs Players Tour – Go To the Next Stop
Paul is also part of the Cincinnati Reds Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See all Paul’s baseball cards at TCDB