Vernon Edgell Bickford

Vernon Edgell Bickford

Birth
Hellier, Pike County, Kentucky, USA
Death 6 May 1960 (aged 39)
Richmond, Richmond City, Virginia, USA
Burial New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia, USA
Memorial ID 13509625 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player. Quiet and gentlemanly off the mound, right-handed pitcher Vern Bickford was an aggressive, hard-as-nails competitor when he stepped between the lines. He spent the majority of his major league career with the Boston Braves, joining them for their pennant winning season of 1948, his rookie year. A three sport prep star, he began his pro career in 1939. He never pitched for a minor league team above Class A Ball during the first 6 years of his career. After service in the Army in World War 2, he pitched the 1946 season for the Class B Jackson club of the Southeastern League where he went 10-13. Just before the 1947, he was placed on the roster of Indianapolis of the American Association, a minor league affiliate of the Boston Braves. When Indianapolis' President Frank McKinney acquired a controlling interest in the Pittsburgh Pirates just before the '47 season began, he allowed Braves owner Lou Perini to pick up the contract of several players as compensation. The first player he chose was Bickford. Sent to the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association, he churned out a 9-5 season. He made the Braves out of Spring Training in 1948, but was not expected to stick with the parent club. After several so-so outings out of the bullpen, Braves manager Billy Southworth started him in place of a sick Red Barrett against the Pirates on May 19. Bickford did not disappoint, as he turned his season around with a 5 hitter. Overall he went 11-5 with a 3.27 ERA, helping the Braves to their first Pennant since 1914. He also appeared in the World Series against Cleveland, starting game 3 against Gene Bearden. Bickford was a hard luck loser as he gave up 4 hits and just 1 run while walking 5 in 3.3 innings pitched. He was relieved by Billy Voiselle in the 4th. The Braves lost the game 2-0 and eventually the series 4-2. Bickford became a mainstay of the Braves rotation over the next several season, culminating with a 19-14 season in 1950. It was during that season that he pitched a 7-0 no-hitter on the night of August 11 against Carl Erskine and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Bickford had 1 more decent season, after which, arm troubles began to plague him. On February 10, 1954 he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Charlie White and $10,000 cash. He was released on May 17 after an 0-1 record. He retired from baseball soon afterward due to a pinched nerve and bone chips in his elbow. He attempted a comeback with the International Leagues' Richmond Virginians in 1955, but the venture proved to be unsuccessful. After his career, he worked as a car salesman, a carpenter and a traveling salesman. Diagnosed with cancer, he battled the disease gamely, and was making plans to reenter pro ball as a coach as late as the week before his death. He died at the McGuire Veterans Administration Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, at the age of 39, leaving a wife and 3 sons.

Bio by: Frank Russo


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Frank Russo
  • Added: 3 Mar 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13509625
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Vernon Edgell Bickford (17 Aug 1920–6 May 1960), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13509625, citing Mount Zion Baptist Church Cemetery, New Canton, Buckingham County, Virginia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .