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Billy Hitchcock

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Title: Billy Hitchcock  
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Subject: Ken Silvestri, List of Detroit Tigers managers, George Stallings, List of Baltimore Orioles managers, Jimmy Dykes
Collection: 1916 Births, 2006 Deaths, American Military Personnel of World War II, American Presbyterians, Atlanta Braves Coaches, Atlanta Braves Managers, Auburn Tigers Baseball Players, Auburn Tigers Football Players, Baltimore Orioles Managers, Baseball Players from Alabama, Boston Red Sox Players, Buffalo Bisons (Minor League) Managers, Buffalo Bisons (Minor League) Players, Detroit Tigers Coaches, Detroit Tigers Managers, Detroit Tigers Players, Kansas City Blues (Baseball) Players, Major League Baseball First Base Coaches, Major League Baseball Infielders, Major League Baseball Third Base Coaches, Milwaukee Braves Scouts, Montreal Expos Scouts, People from Bullock County, Alabama, People from Opelika, Alabama, Philadelphia Athletics Players, Players of American Football from Alabama, Southern League (Baseball), St. Louis Browns Players, United States Army Air Forces Soldiers, Washington Senators (1901–60) Players
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Billy Hitchcock

Billy Hitchcock
Billy Hitchcock as a Detroit Tigers coach in 1957
Third baseman/Second baseman/Shortstop
Born: (1916-07-31)July 31, 1916
Inverness, Alabama
Died: April 9, 2006(2006-04-09) (aged 89)
Opelika, Alabama
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 14, 1942, for the Detroit Tigers
Last MLB appearance
August 27, 1953, for the Detroit Tigers
MLB statistics
Batting average .243
Home runs 5
Runs batted in 257
Teams

As Player

As Manager

William Clyde Hitchcock (July 31, 1916 – April 9, 2006) was an American infielder, coach, manager and scout in Major League Baseball. In minor league baseball, he served as president of the Double-A Southern League in 1971–80. His older brother, Jimmy Hitchcock, played briefly for the 1938 Boston Braves.

Contents

  • Career in uniform 1
  • Minor league executive, college athletic star 2
  • Death 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

Career in uniform

Born in Inverness, Alabama and a graduate of Auburn University, Hitchcock played all four infield positions during a nine-year American League active career. The right-handed batter and thrower stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 185 pounds (84 kg). He broke in with the 1942 Detroit Tigers, spent three years in the Army Air Force in the Pacific during World War II, and resumed his Major League career from 1946–53. Overall, he batted .243 with five home runs in 703 games with the Tigers, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Browns and Philadelphia Athletics.

Between Triple-A managing assignments in 1954 and 1961, Hitchcock served a six-year (1955–60) term as the Tigers' third base coach. He also became a footnote to one of the most bizarre personnel transactions in baseball annals. On August 3, 1960, the Tigers and Cleveland Indians traded their managers, Jimmy Dykes for Joe Gordon. Hitchcock served as Detroit's interim skipper for one game while Gordon was en route from his Cleveland assignment, and the Tigers defeated the New York Yankees, 12–2.[1] In 1962, Hitchcock was named the full-time manager of the Baltimore Orioles. But in his two seasons at the helm, the Orioles barely broke the .500 mark (163–161). At the end of the 1963 campaign, Hitchcock was replaced by Hank Bauer, and moved into Baltimore's minor league department as field coordinator. Then he became a scout for the Braves, whose general manager at the time was former Tiger player and executive John McHale.

Hitchcock began the Atlanta. But when the Braves won only 52 of their first 111 games, Bragan was fired on August 9 and Hitchcock took over. The Braves won 33 of their last 51 games to finish fifth in the National League, and Hitchcock was invited back for 1967, but he was fired September 28 with the team in seventh place and three games remaining on the schedule.[2] His career managing record was 274 wins, 261 losses (.514). Hitchcock then scouted for McHale and the Montreal Expos in 1968–71 before taking over as president of the Southern League.

Minor league executive, college athletic star

During his presidency, the Southern League added new teams, expanded its playoffs and introduced split-season play. The league's attendance figures rose dramatically during his tenure, from 333,500 in 1971 to over 1.7 million in 1980. The league's championship trophy is named after Hitchcock, and in 1980 he was presented with the King of Baseball award given by Minor League Baseball.

In addition to his baseball resume, Hitchcock also made a name for himself in college football and golf. As an All-Conference tailback, he led Auburn to its first bowl game (a 7-7 tie against Villanova on January 1, 1937). Later in life, he established the Billy Hitchcock Golf Tournament at his alma mater. In recognition of his contribution to the school, Auburn renamed its renovated baseball stadium "Hitchcock Field" in 2003. Also in that year, Baseball America named it the best college baseball facility in the country.

Death

Hitchcock died in Opelika, Alabama at age 89.[3] He was a charter member and elder at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Opelika.

References

  1. ^ Retrosheet
  2. ^ Braves fire Bill Hitchcock as manager
  3. ^ Hitchcock, former player, manager, dies at 89

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
  • Billy Hitchcock at Find a Grave
  • SABR biography
Preceded by
Johnny Hopp
Detroit Tigers third base coach
1955–1960
Succeeded by
Don Heffner
Preceded by
Sam C. Smith, Jr.
Southern League president
1972–1980
Succeeded by
Jim Bragan
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