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


Collective Troll said...

GREAT POST! I love Billy Pierce and think he BELONGS in the HOF! I have been trying to hunt down all of my Pierce cards to do a proper tribute post to the man. I just found the '51 Bowman and a few cards from his later days with the Giants so I will likely get it posted soon. There isn't much more I like better to do in December than to think about who belongs in the Hall.

Play at the Plate said...

I never heard of Bill Pierce until just now. Thanks for shedding some light on a guy who had a really nice career!