Monday, May 30, 2011

RIP Billy Harris

It is always sad when a member of the Dodger family passes away. William Thomas Harris, Billy Harris for short, was an outstanding athlete from New Brunswick, Canada- possibly one of the greatest ever produced from the Canadian province (with exception of Willie O'Ree- NHL's first black player). He was an accomplished hockey player in his youth, but is better known for his pitching on the diamond. In 1949 he lead the Dieppe Junior Cardinals to a Maritime championship and the Moncton Legionnaires to a title a year later in amateurs. His exploits garnered him a professional contract with the Dodgers and he had an immediate impact. With Valdosta in 1950 he won 18 games then another 25 games for Miami in the Dodgers minor league B level organization. Harris would continue to climb the ladder to Montreal, the Dodgers AAA franchise, and help lead them to a Little World Series berth. Unfortunately, they did not come out the victors. After winning 16 games for Montreal in 1957 he finally got a cup of coffee with the big club in Brooklyn. He would pitch just one game, a 7 inning effort, but lost by giving up 3 runs. Due to the stockpile of pitchers ahead of him he would be sent back down until he got his final shot 2 years later in a relief appearance for the LA Dodgers. From the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame Website.
In all, Harris pitched for 15 professional seasons and amassed 174 wins and 1,373 strikeouts. Of all Canadians that have pitched in the big leagues, Harris ranks first in minor league career shutouts (45), second in strikeouts, third in wins, and fifth in games pitched (436) and innings pitched (2,461). For his efforts, he was inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in 1978 (and the Canadian Baseball Hall of fame in 2008).
Here is a great write up on his death on the 28th at Times & Transcript, and here is his page at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame website.

Hat Tip: Vin Scully Is My Homeboy.
Photo from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.


  1. The AAA championship was known as the Little World Series in those years not the Little League W.S.

  2. Woops... i can't believe I did that... change made... thanks Mike


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...