Bill Burwell

From BR Bullpen


William Edwin Burwell

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

“Bill Burwell... gave me many pointers. I‘ll never forget how he worked with me. My personal opinion is that Burwell is one of the smartest pitchers in the game.” - Oral Hildebrand, to The Sporting News, January 11, 1934

Pitcher Bill Burwell was 239-206 in 590 minor league games between 1915 and 1938. He led the American Association in losses in 1922 (23) and 1929 (20), but also led the league in wins and ERA in 1925 (24-9 2.73). He won 193 games in the AA.

He began his professional career in 1915 with the Elgin Watch Makers of the Bi-State League, but the league folded quickly. In 1916, he joined the Topeka Savages of the Western League, but his career was interrupted by military service in World War I. He was wounded at the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in France in September of 1918. He lost the tip of one finger in his throwing hand and his other fingers ended up with a permanent curl, but, this did not end his pitching career, on the contrary, as he discovered that he could now throw a much more effective sinker. Bill made 70 appearances in parts of three seasons in the bigs, primarily with the St. Louis Browns, going 9-8 with a 4.37 ERA.

Burwell was the pitching coach for Donie Bush with the Minneapolis Millers in 1936. He was a coach for the Boston Red Sox in 1944 then became a coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1947 and 1948, winning his only game as manager in 1947. He stayed with the Pirate organization until retirement. He coached the Pirates again from 1958 to 1962, then scouted for the club from 1963 until his death.

Preceded by
Billy Herman
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager
Succeeded by
Billy Meyer

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1934 Fort Wayne Chiefs Central League 19-4 1st Indianapolis Indians League disbanded on June 10
1935 Terre Haute Tots Three-I League 57-61 4th none
1937 Rock Island Islanders Western League 20-46 -- none Team disbanded on July 7
1938 Crookston Pirates Northern League 69-47 3rd Boston Red Sox Lost League Finals
1939 Louisville Colonels American Association 61-53 4th Boston Red Sox League Champs replaced Donie Bush (14-25) on May 31
1940 Louisville Colonels American Association 75-75 4th Boston Red Sox League Champs
1941 Louisville Colonels American Association 87-66 2nd Boston Red Sox Lost League Finals
1942 Louisville Colonels American Association 78-76 5th Boston Red Sox
1943 Louisville Colonels American Association 70-81 5th Boston Red Sox
1945 Indianapolis Indians American Association 90-63 2nd Boston Braves Lost in 1st round
1946 Indianapolis Indians American Association 88-65 2nd Boston Braves Lost League Finals
1947 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 1-0 7th Pittsburgh Pirates replaced Billy Herman (61-92) on September 28
1949 Davenport Pirates Three-I League 67-59 4th Pittsburgh Pirates League Champs
1950 New Orleans Pelicans Southern Association 35-41 5th Pittsburgh Pirates replaced Hugh Luby (36-38) on July 1
1955 Lincoln Chiefs Western League 67-83 6th Pittsburgh Pirates

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gregory Wolf: "Bill Burwell", in Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin, ed.: Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 231-236. ISBN 978-1-93359-948-9

Related Sites[edit]