Tuesday, May 04, 2010

#251 Billy Herman

#251 Billy Herman
Look, it's Billy Herman! If we were playing Jeopardy and there was a "Before and After" category, you could combine him with another manager in this set: Billy Herman Franks.

Fun facts about Billy Herman:

-Born William Jennings Bryan Herman (yes, really) in New Albany, IN, he was purchased by the Cubs from Louisville of the American Association in 1931.

-After hitting .327 in 25 games as a 21-year-old rookie, Billy played in all 154 games in 1932 and hit .314 with 42 doubles, 102 runs scored, and 206 hits for the National League champs. He finished ninth in MVP voting, the the first of five top-ten finishes for him.

-He appeared in four World Series (three with the Cubs and one with the Dodgers), and his team lost all of them. He did stand out in the 1935 Fall Classic, hitting .333 (8-for-24) and slugging .625 with a home run and six RBI against the Tigers.

-Was an All-Star for ten straight seasons, 1934-1943.

-Led the National League with 227 hits and 57 doubles in 1935, batting a career-best .341. He topped .300 seven times in all.

-Served in the Navy for two years during World War II before finishing his career with two abbreviated seasons as a Dodger, Brave, and Pirate.

-Batted .304 with a .367 on-base percentage, 486 doubles, 47 home runs, and 839 RBI in parts of 15 seasons. He struck out only 428 times in 8641 plate appearances!

-Coached for the Dodgers, Braves, Red Sox, Angels, and Padres in the decades following his retirement.

-Also had two stints as a manager. Went 61-92 as player-manager of the Pirates in 1947, then spent parts of three seasons (1964-1966) as Red Sox skipper, losing 100 games in his only full year at the helm.

-Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran's Committee in 1975, and enshrined in the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame four years later. He passed away in 1992, about a week after his 83rd birthday.
#251 Billy Herman (back)

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