Dec 5, 2009
non-HOF Profile Derby #2: Billy Pierce
Next, a pitcher from the White Sox, Billy Pierce.
Place on the WAR chart: Below Red Ruffing and above Early Wynn
Career Overview: Started as an 18 year old bonus baby with Detroit in 1945, became a full-time pither for the White Sox in 1949. Played until 1964 with the last three years with San Francisco. Had 2 20 win seasons. Led the league in wins once, losses once, ERA once, complete games three times, strikeouts once, and WHIP once. Was a 7 time all-star.
The Numbers: Consistently above average pitcher had a career 119 ERA+, 211-169 record with 3.27 ERA and 1999 K. Also pitched 38 shutouts in his career. His two 20 win seasons were good, but his best season was 1955 when he had a 1.97 ERA and 1.01 WHIP. Most similar pitchers were Vida Blue and Luis Tiant. Most similar performance during prime was to Johnny Antonelli. Anyone have a scouting report about what his modern equivalent would be?
Why He Should be Remembered: Ace of the staff during the Al Lopez managed good Chicago White Sox temas during the mid-'50s, which couldn't break through the Yankee ceiling until the 1959 Go-Go Sox. Ironically, he had one of his worst seasons of his career that season. Was also a major contributor on the 1962 pennant winning Giants, forcing the exciting, decisive game 7 by outdueling Whitey Ford in game 6.
HOF Balloting Performance: Never received more than 2% of the votes with 5 years on the ballot from 1970-1974.
Rookie Card: 1951 Bowman #196
Other Key Cards: 2001 Topps Archive Reserve Refractor, no company issued game used or autos that I've seen, possibly a 1991 Topps Archives (1953 Reprint) Auto
(image courtesy of www.vintagecardtraders.com)