6. Billy Pierce
  1. General
  2. Awards
  3. Career Stats
  • Born: April 2, 1927 in Detroit, MI USA
  • Weight: 160 lbs.
  • Height: 5'10"
  • Bats: L
  • Throws: L
  • Debut: June 01, 1945
  • Final Game: October 03, 1964
  • TSN All-Star - 1956
  • TSN Pitcher of the Year - 1956
  • TSN All-Star - 1957
  • TSN Pitcher of the Year - 1957

In our opinion, one of the most underrated Pitchers that ever existed has to be Billy Pierce, who was a seven-time All-Star and five-time leader in bWAR with the White Sox.

In what would turn out to be a steal, Billy Pierce arrived in the city of Chicago in a trade from the Detroit Tigers in after the 1948 season, and he was a permanent starter the year after.  His first two seasons as a starter, showed that the southpaw was good, and in 1951, while having an American League-leading 14 losses, he was still fifth in bWAR for Pitchers (4.7), fourth in ERA (3.03) and SO/BB (1.548). 

Pierce would ascend as the team's ace shortly after, and the White Sox were often playing second fiddle to the New York Yankees throughout the 1950s.  Without Pierce, the odds are enormous that they don't even get to that.

In 1953 and 1955, Billy Pierce would finish first in bWAR for Pitchers.  1955 was especially useful, as he would win the ERA (1.97) and WHIP Title (1.099).  With the White Sox, he was also second in ERA twice, and in 1956 and 1957, The Sporting News would name him their Pitcher of the Year.  He would remain with the Chi-Sox until he was traded to the San Francisco Giants after the 1961 Season.

Pierce's fastball and extensive repertoire may have made him the ace, but while the Sox won games than their lost while he was there, he was often not the beneficiary of run support.  186-152 for Chicago is good, but it is misleading, as he was a much better Pitcher than his record indicated.  He is still the all-time franchise leader in Strikeouts with 1,796.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Pitcher
  • Acquired: Traded from the Detroit Tigers with $10,000 for Aaron Robinson 11/10/48.
  • Departed: Traded to the San Francisco Giants with Don Larsen for Bob Farley, Eddie Fisher, Dom Zanni, and a Player to be Named Later (which would be Verle Tiefenthaler) 11/30/61.
  • Games Played: 456
  • Notable Statistics: 186 WIns
    152 Losses
    391 Games Started
    3.19 ERA
    183 Complete Games
    43 Games Finished
    21 Saves
    2,931.0 Innings Pitched
    1,796 Strikeouts
    3.42 FIP
    1.261 WHIP
    48.7 bWAR
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    Highest bWAR for Pitchers (1953 & 1955)
    Lowest ERA (1955)
    Most Wins (1957)
    Lowest WHIP (1955)
    Lowest H/9 (1953)
    Highest SO/9 (1953 & 1954)
    Most Strikeouts (1953)
    Most Complete Games (1956, 1957 & 1958)
    Highest SO/BB (1955)
    Highest ERA+ (1955)
    Lowest FIP (1955)
    Highest Win Probability Added (1951 & 1953)
    Highest Fielding Percentage by a Pitcher (1955)

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