May 2 – Happy Birthday Bill Piercy

Bill_Piercy.jpgIn Leigh Montville’s book about Babe Ruth entitled, The Big Bam, the author clearly makes the case that when Ruth first became a Yankee in 1920, he was one of the crudest, least mature and most undisciplined human beings to ever wear a big league uniform. He ignored all rules and authority of any kind, doing exactly as he pleased when he pleased. One of the rules he ignored was Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis’ prohibition of post season barnstorming by players who had participated in that year’s World Series. After the Yankees lost to the Giants in the 1921 World Series, Ruth, his Yankee outfield mate, Bob Meusel and today’s Pinstripe Birthday celebrant, pitcher Wild Bill Piercy joined a barnstorming team, flaunting the Commissioner’s edict.

Landis reacted quickly and harshly. He fined all three players the amount of money they had collected from their 1921 World Series share and also suspended them for the first month of the 1922 regular season. Ruth shrugged off the punishment because he had already become the highest paid player in the game. Meusel was angry but he too would go on to make good money and several more World Series checks in pinstripes. Piercy, on the other hand really got the short end of the stick. Even though he had shown promise as a pitcher by going 5-4 in 1921, Yankee manager Miller Huggins wanted to send a message to Ruth that his childlike behavior would have consequences. He quickly traded Piercy and a couple of other Ruth partying buddies to the Red Sox. The Sultan of Swat, however, hardly noticed his old teammates were missing and he quickly found new ones to pal around with. Meanwhile, Piercy went 16-33 as a Red Sox and was out of the big leagues for good by 1927.

Piercy shares his May 2nd birthday with a Yankee pitcher who’s religious beliefs prevented him from pitching on Friday nights or Saturday afternoons.

Year Tm W L W-L% ERA G GS GF CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
1917 NYY 0 1 .000 3.00 1 1 0 1 0 0 9.0 9 3 3 0 2 4 1.222
1921 NYY 5 4 .556 2.98 14 10 3 5 1 0 81.2 82 40 27 4 28 35 1.347
6 Yrs 27 43 .386 4.26 116 70 30 28 2 0 610.2 676 364 289 16 268 165 1.546
BOS (3 yrs) 16 33 .327 4.48 82 54 18 21 1 0 429.2 489 269 214 11 201 95 1.606
NYY (2 yrs) 5 5 .500 2.98 15 11 3 6 1 0 90.2 91 43 30 4 30 39 1.335
CHC (1 yr) 6 5 .545 4.48 19 5 9 1 0 0 90.1 96 52 45 1 37 31 1.472
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/1/2013.

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