Bill Terry

William Harold Terry (October 30, 1898 – January 9, 1989) was a Major League Baseball first baseman and manager. He stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 200 pounds (91 kg). Terry was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954. In 1999, he ranked number 59 on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The Giants retired Terry's uniform number 3 in 1984; it is posted on the facade of the upper deck in the left field corner of AT&T Park. Nicknamed "Memphis Bill", he is most remembered for being the last National League player to hit .400, a feat he accomplished by batting .401 in 1930.[1]

Bill Terry
1937 All-Star managers
Bill Terry (right) at the 1937 All-Star Game
First baseman / Manager
Born: October 30, 1898
Atlanta, Georgia
Died: January 9, 1989 (aged 90)
Jacksonville, Florida
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 24, 1923, for the New York Giants
Last MLB appearance
September 22, 1936, for the New York Giants
MLB statistics
Batting average.341
Home runs154
Runs batted in1,078
Managerial record823–661
Winning %.555
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Vote77.4% (fourteenth ballot)

Playing career

Early years

Born in Atlanta, Terry made his professional baseball debut in 1915 at the age of 16. He began his career as a pitcher, playing for two separate minor league teams, the Newnan Cowetas of the Georgia–Alabama League and the Dothan club of the FLAG League. With Newnan, he had a win-loss record of 7–1, with an 0.60 earned run average (ERA) in eight games.

After starting 1916 with Newnan, by the end of the year he had moved up to the class-B Shreveport Gassers of the Texas League. He again compiled impressive statistics for his new team, putting up a record of 6–2 with a 1.07 ERA in 11 games with Shreveport. Terry spent all of 1917 with Shreveport, with a record of 14–11 and an ERA of 3.00. By this time, he was also beginning to play more in the field, pitching in 40 games and appearing in 55 other games.

After spending several years playing semi-professionally, Terry was picked up by the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association in 1922. He was now playing in double-A, the highest minor league level of the era. While he was still pitching, putting up a 9–9 record in 26 games, his hitting was also starting to pick up. In 88 games with Toledo, Terry batted .336 with 14 home runs.

In 1923, Terry had been converted into a full-time first baseman. In 109 games with Toledo that year, Terry batted .377 with 15 home runs. This gained the notice of the major league New York Giants, and on September 18 they purchased his contract from the Mud Hens. In an interesting coincidence, Freddie Lindstrom, another future Hall of Fame player, was also purchased by the Giants from the Mud Hens on the same day.

Starting out in the majors

Terry made his major league debut with the Giants on September 24, 1923 in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. In that game, he pinch-hit for Giants pitcher Rosy Ryan, going 0-for-1.[2] Terry did not play again until September 30, when he made his first appearance in the starting lineup against the Boston Braves. Terry got his first major league hit in that game, going 1-for-3 and scoring his first major league run.[3] Terry finished the season with one hit in seven at bats in three games.

Terry played all of 1924 with the Giants, backing up fellow future Hall of Famer George Kelly at first base for the pennant-winning team. Terry played in 77 games, 35 at first base and the rest as a pinch-hitter. He batted .239 with 5 home runs and 24 runs batted in (RBI). In the World Series against the Washington Senators, he batted .429, including a Game 1 home run off Walter Johnson.[4]

Into and out of the starting lineup

In 1925, Giants starting third baseman Heinie Groh suffered an injury early in the season, forcing the team to juggle its lineup a bit. Starting second baseman Frankie Frisch was tried at third, but wound up spending most of the season shifting around the infield when Lindstrom was made the starter. Kelly was moved from first base to second, and Terry was installed as the starting first baseman. He hit .319 in 133 games, with 11 homers and 70 RBI.

In 1926, with Lindstrom now established as the starter at third, Frisch was reinstated at second and Kelly moved back to first, sending Terry back into a reserve role. In addition to backing up Kelly, Terry played in 14 games in the outfield. This was the only season in which he played more than one game at a position other than first base. Overall, Terry played 98 games, batting .289 with 5 home runs and 43 RBI.

1927: Breakout year

During the following offseason, the Giants made some major changes to their starting lineup. On December 20, 1926, they traded Frisch and pitcher Jimmy Ring to the St. Louis Cardinals for Rogers Hornsby. Then, on February 9, they traded Kelly to the Reds for outfielder Edd Roush, opening a spot once more for Terry in the starting lineup. Terry batted .326 in 1927, with 20 home runs and 121 RBI. He finished 13th in the voting for the National League MVP, and his days of being a backup were behind him for good.

History in the making

Bill Terry on a Goudey card, 1933

Over the next two seasons, Terry continued to produce for the Giants, batting .326 again in 1928 with 101 RBI, and then .372 in 1929 with 117 RBI. In both years, he finished in the top ten in the NL in a number of statistical categories and in 1929 he finished 3rd in the MVP voting. All of this led to what is generally considered Terry's best season ever, 1930.

In 1930, Terry had an historic season. He finished first in the National League with a .401 batting average, the first player to hit over .400 since Rogers Hornsby in 1925. It is also the last time to date that anyone in the National League has hit .400. Only Ted Williams of the American League's Boston Red Sox in 1941 has hit .400 since. Terry also led the league with 254 hits, which is tied for the most in NL history with the Phillies' Lefty O'Doul's 254 in 1929.[5] He also finished 5th in the league in on-base percentage (.452), 7th in slugging percentage (.619), 6th in runs scored with 139 runs, and led the league in putouts and assists by a first baseman. While there was no official league MVP award in 1930, Terry won The Sporting News NL MVP.


While Terry never again reached the lofty heights of 1930, he had another excellent season in 1931. He led the league in runs scored with 121 and in triples with 20 while batting .349 with 112 RBI, and he finished third in the new BBWAA NL MVP voting. He became the only Giants player (as of 2014) to hit two doubles and two triples in a game when he did so against the Cincinnati Reds on September 13, 1931.[6] In 1932, Terry set his career high in home runs with 28, batting .350 with 117 RBI. He was also named the team's manager in early June, replacing the legendary John McGraw. The team finished in sixth place, going 55–59.

1933: World Series championship

In 1933, Terry's first full season as manager, the team won the National League pennant and the World Series. Although, as a player, Terry missed a month early in the season with an injury, he still hit .322. It was also the first season of the All-Star Game, for which Terry was chosen as a starter and in which he got two hits. The Giants once again faced the Senators in the 1933 World Series, which they won four games to one. Terry went 6-for-22, hitting a home run in Game 4 off Monte Weaver.[7] Despite an off-year, Terry still finished fourth in the MVP voting, perhaps gaining votes for managing the team to the championship, the Giants' first since 1922, the year before Terry's MLB debut.

Career winding down

In 1934 Terry came back to put up big numbers once more, finishing second in the NL in batting at .354 and in hits with 213 while finishing seventh in the MVP voting. Terry managed the team to a second-place finish, just two games behind the pennant-winning St. Louis Cardinals "Gashouse Gang". In 1935, Terry again got over 200 hits with 203, and batted .341 while finishing sixth in the MVP voting, and managed the team to a third-place finish. In both years he was again selected to start in the All-Star game. As manager, Terry became an advocate of platooning, as Hank Leiber and Jimmy Ripple split playing time in center field.[8]

1936 was Terry's last year as a player. Before the season started, the team had purchased Sam Leslie from the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Terry the manager split time with the newcomer, with Leslie getting the lion's share. It worked out well for the team, as they again won the pennant, beating the Cardinals by five games. In the World Series, Terry started all six games, but batted just .240 with no extra base hits. He did have five RBI, but it wasn't enough, as the Giants lost to the New York Yankees, four games to two.

Remaining managerial career

Terry continued to manage the Giants until 1941. He also held the title of general manager of the Giants from September 7, 1937, through the end of the 1942 season. The Giants won another pennant in 1937, but they lost another World Series to the New York Yankees, four games to one. The team finished third in 1938, but never again finished in the first division under Terry, finishing fifth, sixth, and fifth in his last three years as manager.

Ownership career

After retiring from playing and managing, Terry settled in Jacksonville, Florida, where he owned a most successful Buick automobile dealership and purchased the Jacksonville Braves double-A team in 1958.[9]

Playing career summary

Bill Terry plaque
Plaque of Bill Terry at the Baseball Hall of Fame

Over his 14-year career, Terry posted seven seasons with 100 or more runs, six seasons with 100 or more RBI, six seasons with at least 200 hits, and nine consecutive seasons batting .320 or higher, from 1927 through 1935; additionally he posted three seasons with at least 20 home runs, including a career high of 28 in 1932. Terry retired with 1120 runs scored, 154 home runs, 1078 RBI and a .341 batting average. He also currently holds the record for the highest career batting average for a left-handed hitter in the National League at .341. Terry was also one of the best fielding first baseman of his era, compiling a career .992 fielding percentage.

Baseball honors

SFGiants 3
Bill Terry's number 3 was retired by the San Francisco Giants in 1984.

Terry was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954. In 1999, he ranked number 59 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players,[10] and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The Giants retired Terry's uniform no. 3 in 1984; it is posted on the facade of the upper deck in the left field corner of AT&T Park.

Bill Terry is mentioned in the poem "Line-Up for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash:

See also


  1. ^ Numbelievable!, p. 49, Michael X. Ferraro and John Venziano, Triumph Books, 2007, Chicago, Illinois, ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0
  2. ^ September 24, 1923 box score Baseball-Reference
  3. ^ September 30, 1923 box score Baseball-Reference
  4. ^ 1924 World Series Game 1 box score Baseball-Reference
  5. ^ Year-by-year hits leaders at Baseball-Reference
  6. ^ "Batting Game Finder: From 1914 to 2014, Playing for SFG, (requiring 2B>=2 and 3B>=2, sorted by most recent date), sorted by name". Retrieved May 4, 2014.
  7. ^ 1933 World Series Game 4 box score from Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Loomis, Tom (May 13, 1987). "Don't Blame Casey Stengel For Inventing Platoon System". Toledo Blade. p. 26. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  9. ^ Frenrette, Gene: "Wolfson Park nears its final innings" Florida Times-Union, August 25, 2002
  10. ^ 100 Greatest Baseball Players by The Sporting News : A Legendary List Baseball Almanac
  11. ^ "Baseball Almanac". Retrieved 2008-01-23.

Further reading

External links

Preceded by
Cy Williams
Hitting for the cycle
May 29, 1928
Succeeded by
Bob Meusel
1930 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1930 New York Giants season was the 48th in franchise history. The team finished third in the National League with a record of 87–67, 5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

1932 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1932 New York Giants season was the franchise's 50th season. The team finished in a tie for sixth place in the National League with a 72-82 record, 18 games behind the Chicago Cubs.

1933 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1933 New York Giants season was the franchise's 51st season. The team won the National League pennant and beat the Washington Senators of the American League in the World Series.

1933 World Series

The 1933 World Series featured the New York Giants and the Washington Senators. The Giants won in five games for their first championship since 1922 and their fourth overall. The Giants easily defeated the Senators behind pitching aces "King" Carl Hubbell and "Prince" Hal Schumacher.

Majority owner John McGraw retired as manager in 1932 after 30 years at the helm, naming his protégé, young star first baseman Bill Terry, recently the last .400 hitter in the National League, as his player-manager successor. Somewhat similarly, former superstar hurler Walter Johnson also retired in 1932 as Senator manager in favor of young star shortstop Joe Cronin as their new player-manager. (McGraw watched the Series from the stands, and died four months later.)

The Senators were the surprise team of 1933, breaking a seven-year monopoly on the AL title jointly held by the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Athletics from 1926 to 1932. But this could also be called a joint 13-year monopoly by all three, since the Senators had also won in 1924 and 1925 and the Yankees won from 1921 to 1923. 43 year old future Hall of Famer Sam Rice, in his last year with the Senators, had only one at bat during the series, picking up a pinch hit single in the second game.

1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the second playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 10 at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, the home of the New York Giants of the National League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 9–7.

The game is well known among baseball historians for the performance of NL starting pitcher Carl Hubbell. After allowing the first two batters to reach base on a single and a base on balls, Hubbell struck out five of the game's best hitters – Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin – in succession, setting a longstanding All-Star Game record for consecutive strikeouts.

1934 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1934 New York Giants season was the franchise's 52nd season. Although they led in the standings for most of the season, the team finished in second place in the National League with a 93-60 record, 2 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals.

1935 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1935 New York Giants season was the franchise's 53rd season. The team finished in third place in the National League with a 91-62 record, 8½ games behind the Chicago Cubs.

1936 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1936 New York Giants season was the franchise's 54th season. The Giants won the National League pennant. The team went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the 1936 World Series, four games to two.

1938 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1938 New York Giants season was the franchise's 56th season. The team finished in third place in the National League with an 83-67 record, 5 games behind the Chicago Cubs.

1939 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1939 New York Giants season was the franchise's 57th season. The team finished in fifth place in the National League with a 77–74 record, 18½ games behind the Cincinnati Reds.

1940 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1940 New York Giants season was the franchise's 58th season. The team finished in sixth place in the National League with a 72-80 record, 37½ games behind the Cincinnati Reds.

1941 New York Giants (MLB) season

The 1941 New York Giants season was the franchise's 59th season. The team finished in fifth place in the National League with a 74-79 record, 25½ games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1954 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1954 followed a system practically the same as in 1952 because the new Veterans Committee was meeting only in odd-number years (until 1962).

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent players and elected three: Bill Dickey, Rabbit Maranville, and Bill Terry.

AK Racing

AK Racing was a championship-winning NASCAR Winston Cup Series team. It was originally owned by Bill Terry before he sold it to rookie driver Alan Kulwicki, who controlled and raced for the team until his death in 1993. Kulwicki won five races as an owner-driver. Until Tony Stewart won the championship in 2011, he was the last owner-driver to win a Cup Series championship, which he won in 1992.

History of the New York Giants (baseball)

The San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball originated in New York City as the New York Gothams in 1883 and were known as the New York Giants from 1885 until the team relocated to San Francisco after the 1957 season. During most of their 75 seasons in New York City, the Giants played home games at various incarnations of the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan.

Numerous inductees of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York played for the New York Giants, including John McGraw, Mel Ott, Bill Terry, Willie Mays, Monte Irvin, and Travis Jackson. During the club's tenure in New York, it won five of the franchise's eight World Series wins and 17 of its 23 National League pennants. Famous moments in the Giants' New York history include the 1922 World Series, in which the Giants swept the Yankees in four games, the 1951 home run known as the "Shot Heard 'Round the World", and the defensive feat by Willie Mays during the first game of the 1954 World Series known as "the Catch".

The Giants had intense rivalries with their fellow New York teams the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, facing the Yankees in six World Series and playing the league rival Dodgers multiple times per season. Games between any two of these three teams were known collectively as the Subway Series. The rivalry with the Dodgers continues to be played as the Dodgers joined the Giants in moving also to along the Pacific Ocean on the West Coast in California after the 1957 season when they relocated to Los Angeles. The New York Giants of the National Football League are named after the team.

Kurt Von Hess

William Terry (April 10, 1942 – March 13, 1999) was a Canadian professional wrestler, known by his ring name Kurt Von Hess, who competed in North American and international promotions during the 1970s and 1980s, including International Wrestling Enterprise, Maple Leaf Wrestling and Stampede Wrestling. A regular tag team partner of Karl Von Schotz, the two were one of the most hated "heels" in the Detroit-area while competing in the National Wrestling Alliance during the early 1970s.

List of Major League Baseball annual putouts leaders

The following is a list of annual leaders in putouts in Major League Baseball (MLB), with separate lists for the American League and the National League. The list also includes several professional leagues and associations that were never part of MLB.

In baseball statistics, a putout (denoted by PO or fly out when appropriate) is given to a defensive player who records an out by a Tagging a runner with the ball when he is not touching a base (a tagout), catching a batted or thrown ball and tagging a base to put out a batter or runner (a Force out), catching a thrown ball and tagging a base to record an out on an appeal play, catching a third strike (a strikeout), catching a batted ball on the fly (a flyout), or being positioned closest to a runner called out for interference.

Jake Beckley is the all-time leader in career putouts with 23,743. Jiggs Donahue holds the record for most putouts in a season with 1,846 in 1907. Frank McCormick, Steve Garvey, Bill Terry, and Ernie Banks have all led the league in putouts 5 times. Albert Pujols is the active leader in putouts and has led the league 4 times.

List of San Francisco Giants managers

The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team that plays in the National League Western Division. Since their inception as the New York Gothams in 1883, the Giants have employed 36 managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.The franchise's first manager was John Clapp, who managed the team for one year before being replaced in 1884 by Jim Price. The Giants won two World Series championships during the 19th century, in 1888 and 1889, with Jim Mutrie as their manager both years. John McGraw became the Giants' manager during the 1902 season, beginning a streak of 54 consecutive years in which the Giants were managed by a Baseball Hall of Famer. McGraw himself managed for more than 30 years, until the middle of the 1932 season, the longest managerial tenure in Giants history. McGraw won 2,583 games as the Giants manager, the most in Giants history. While managing the Giants, the team won the National League championship 10 times—in 1904, 1905, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1917, 1921, 1922, 1923 and 1924. They played in the World Series nine times (no World Series was played in 1904) and won three, in 1905, 1921 and 1922.McGraw's successor was Hall of Famer Bill Terry, who managed the team from the middle of the 1932 season until 1941. He won 823 games as the Giants' manager, fourth most in Giants history, and won three National League championships, in 1933, 1936 and 1937, winning the World Series in 1933. Hall of Famers Mel Ott and Leo Durocher managed the team from 1942 through 1955. Durocher was the manager for the Giants' World Series championship in 1954.The Giants moved from New York to San Francisco in 1958, with Bill Rigney as their manager. They won their first National League championship in San Francisco under Alvin Dark in 1962 but lost the World Series that year. In their first 28 years in San Francisco, they had 14 managers (including two terms by Rigney). Since 1985, the Giants' managerial situation has been more stable. Roger Craig managed the team for more than seven seasons, from the middle of the 1985 season until 1992, including a National League championship in 1989. His successor, Dusty Baker, managed the team for ten years from 1993 through 2002, winning the National League championship in 2002. Baker has the third highest win total of any Giants manager with 840. Felipe Alou replaced Baker in 2003 and managed the team until 2006. The current Giants manager, Bruce Bochy, has managed the team since the 2007 season, winning World Series championships in 2010, 2012, and 2014, and has the second most wins among all Giants managers. Mutrie has the highest winning percentage of any Giants manager, with .605. Heinie Smith has the lowest, with .156, although he managed just 32 games. The lowest winning percentage of any Giants manager who managed at least 100 games is .389, by Jim Davenport in 1985.

Roger Terry

Lt. Roger "Bill" Terry (August 13, 1921 – June 11, 2009) was one of the Tuskegee Airmen. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. In 1945 he was stationed at Freeman Field, Indiana, where he was excluded from the "whites only" officers club, PX and theatre, which German POWs were allowed to attend. He was the only individual to be discharged following the Freeman Field Mutiny.

Lieutenant Terry was acquitted of the charge of disobeying an order, but was convicted of the charge of jostling Lieutenant Rogers, for which he was fined $150, payable in three monthly installments, suffered loss of rank and received a dishonorable discharge.

In 1995, in response to requests from some of the veterans of the 477th, the Air Force officially removed General Hunter's letters of reprimand from the permanent files of 15 of the 104 officers charged in the Freeman Field protest and promised to remove the remaining 89 letters when requests were filed. Roger Terry received a full pardon, restoration of rank and a refund of his fine.

Terry died of heart failure on June 11, 2009. He was 87.

Veterans Committee
First basemen
Second basemen
Third basemen
Designated hitters
Executives /
Inducted as a Giant
Inductees who played
for the Giants
Giants managers
Frick Award

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