Milbourne spent his whole career as a utility man. In 1979 he led the AL with 12 pinch hits (in 30 at-bats) in his only successful season in that role. He excelled in the 1981 postseason for the Yankees, playing every game in place of the injured Bucky Dent at shortstop. Milbourne hit .316 with four runs scored in the five-game divisional playoff against Milwaukee. In the LCS against the A’s, he scored the first run of the series in Game One and tied Game Two with a fourth-inning RBI single, batting .462 with four runs as New York swept in three. He dropped off to .250 in the World Series as the Yankees lost to Los Angeles, but he drove in the first run of New York’s Game Two victory with the only extra-base hit of the game, a fifth-inning double.