Bill Bernhard

From BR Bullpen

1903 E107

William Henry Bernhard
(Strawberry Bill)

  • Bats Both, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 205 lb.

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

“If you have a horseshoe with you out on the mound, you are going to win your game. If the other fellow has the horseshoe, he is going to win. If you both have horseshoes, it’s going to be one ripper of a fight.” - "Strawberry Bill" Bernhard, to the Cleveland Plain-Dealer, August 17, 1909

Strawberry Bill Bernhard pitched nine years in the majors, winning in double figures six times. He was also a key figure in the battle between the National League and the new American League, because when he and Napoleon Lajoie jumped to the new American League, it fostered a lawsuit. Like a few Phillies teammates, he originally signed with the Philadelphia Athletics after the 1901 season, but the Phils obtained an injunction from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court banning these players from playing for a team other than the Phillies. Three players rejoined the Phillies as a result, but as the injunction only applied in Pennsylvania, Lajoie, Elmer Flick and Bernhard were allowed by the A's to join the Cleveland Bronchos, although they were still prevented from playing any road games in Philadelphia. The injunction was eventually dropped in June of 1903.

Having played amateur ball until the age of 26, Bernhard was already 28 years old when he made his major league debut. He was the first Cleveland pitcher to lead the American League in winning percentage, with a .783 mark in a split season with the A's in 1902. He also umpired a total of four games in the American League in 1903 and 1907. After his time in the majors, he pitched and managed in the minors for several more years.

His first baseball card appearance was in the 1903 E107 Breisch Williams set.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL Winning Percentage Leader (1902)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 5 (1900-1902, 1904 & 1906)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1904)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1900-1902, 1904 & 1906)
  • 300 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1904)

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1908 Nashville Volunteers Southern Association 75-56 1st none
1909 Nashville Volunteers Southern Association 82-55 2nd none
1910 Nashville Volunteers Southern Association 64-76 5th none
1911 Memphis Turtles Southern Association 62-71 6th none
1912 Memphis Chicks Southern Association 68-71 4th none
1913 Memphis Chicks Southern Association 64-74 6th none
1917 Salt Lake City Bees Pacific Coast League 102-97 3rd none none

Related Sites[edit]