Wednesday, March 23, 2011

#122 Bill Pleis

#122 Bill Pleis
Say, did you know that Bill Pleis was born on August 5? He has excellent taste in birthdays. (NOTE: A certain card blogger shares this birthdate.)

Fun facts about Bill Pleis:

-A native St. Louisian, Bill pitched with the independent Orlando Seratomas in 1956, going 11-12 with a 2.75 ERA at age 18.

-Late that season, he was dealt to the Senators for two unnamed players and $250.

-He earned a win in his big league debut on April 16, 1961. The Twins (in their first season in Minnesota after leaving D.C.) coughed up a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth to the host Orioles, but Pleis relieved Ray Moore and stranded inherited runners on the corners. He then retired the O's 1-2-3 in the 10th, and a solo home run by Zolio Versalles in the 11th gave him the victory. Chuck Stobbs picked up the save.

-Six days later, he picked up the team's first home win in Minneapolis under similar circumstances, entering in the ninth inning of a 4-4 contest against the Senators and tossing two scoreless frames. Versalles won it again, this time with a sac fly to score Earl Battey in the home half of the 10th.

-Bill endured some bumps in his rookie year, going 4-2 with a couple of saves and a 4.95 ERA in 56.1 innings of relief. He walked 34 and struck out only 32.

-Though he totaled just 281 major league innings, Pleis did participate in 1964's All-Star Game. Back then, active pitchers were often chosen to throw batting practice before the game, and he was selected to do the honors.

-After four so-so seasons in the Twins' bullpen, he made a fine contribution to the 1965 American League champs. Appearing in 41 games, he was 4-4 with 4 saves and a 2.98 ERA and allowed only 3 homers in 51.1 innings.

-The lefty last pitched in the majors in 1966, allowing a pair of earned runs in 9.1 innings. He spent the rest of the year at AAA Denver, and continued playing in the minors through 1968.

-In parts of 6 MLB seasons, Bill was 21-16 with 13 saves and a 4.07 ERA.

-He spent a few years working as a scout for the Dodgers.
#122 Bill Pleis (back)


  1. That sac fly back in '61 must have been up against the fence to have scored a guy like Battey. Could u imagine today if a guy was told he made the All Star team just to throw batting practice...

  2. Brox - Hey, I'd take a free trip to Phoenix/Anaheim/etc. to toss a few BP fastballs.