Billy Hitchcock

Billy Hitchcock

Inverness, Bullock County, Alabama, USA
Death 9 Apr 2006 (aged 89)
Opelika, Lee County, Alabama, USA
Burial Opelika, Lee County, Alabama, USA
Memorial ID 13936346 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player, Manager. The utility infielder played nine years in the big leagues with the Detroit Tigers (1942, 1946), the Washington Senators (1946), the St. Louis Browns (1947), the Boston Red Sox (1948 to 1949), the Philadelphia Athletics (1950 to 1952) and the Tigers (1953). He was a baseball and football star at Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn). The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Hitchcock was an All-Southern Conference tailback who scored on a 40-yard run as Auburn and Villanova played to a 7-7 tie in the Bacardi Bowl in Havana, Cuba, on January 1, 1937. The New York Yankees signed him, but he was behind other prospects, including Phil Rizzuto, so the Tigers acquired him. The right-handed batter hit just .211 in 85 games in 1942. He then served three years in the Air Force, earning the Bronze Medal for his service in the Pacific. Upon his return, he hit .210 with the Tigers and Senators in 1946 and was sold to the Browns on February 8, 1947. The Red Sox acquired him along with pitcher Ellis Kinder on November 18, 1947 for pitcher Clem Dreisewerd, infielders Sam Dente and Billy Sommers and $65,000. He hit .298 in 49 games in 1948. The Red Sox shipped him to the A's on October 8, 1949 for catcher Buddy Rosar. For the first time he got a chance to play on a fairly regular basis. He hit .273 in 115 games with 22 doubles and 54 RBIs in 1950, .306 in 77 games in 1951 and .246 in 119 games in 1952. He was traded to the Tigers on January 29, 1953 for infielder Don Kolloway. His career totals were .243 with 67 doubles, 23 triples, five homers and 257 RBIs. He was a coach for the Tigers from 1955 to 1960 and got his first taste of managing when Detroit traded manager Jimmy Dykes to the Cleveland Indians for manager Joe Gordon on August 3, 1960. He managed one game until Gordon arrived. On October 10, 1961, Baltimore named him to succeed Lum Harris as manager. The Orioles went 77-85 and a seventh-place finish in 1962 and 86-76 and fourth place in 1963. He was replaced by Hank Bauer but stayed on as an Orioles field coordinator and scout. The Milwaukee Braves hired him as a scout, and when the club moved to Atlanta, he became a coach under manager Bobby Bragan. The Braves fired Bragan on August 9, 1966, and Hitchcock guided them to a 33-14 record the rest of the season and a fifth-place finish. With the club stumbling at 77-82 and in seventh place, he was fired on September 30, 1967 with three games remaining. He was president of the Southern League from 1971 to 1980. In the meantime, he maintained close ties to his alma mater by establishing Auburn's Billy Hitchcock Golf Tournament. In appreciation, the school renamed its renovated baseball facility Hitchcock Field. It is recognized as one of the best college stadiums in the country. His brother, Jim, played infield briefly for the Boston Braves in 1938.

Bio by: Ron Coons

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ron Coons
  • Added: 13 Apr 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 13936346
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Billy Hitchcock (31 Jul 1916–9 Apr 2006), Find a Grave Memorial no. 13936346, citing Rosemere Cemetery, Opelika, Lee County, Alabama, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .