Billy Bowers

From BR Bullpen

130 pix

Grover Bill Bowers

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9½", Weight 176 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Billy Bowers signed with the St. Louis Browns before the 1943 season. He opened his career with the Memphis Chickasaws of the Southern Association, playing 80 games and hitting .290. Billy got into 25 contests early in 1944, hitting .325, before he was called into duty by the United States Army during World War II. He was in the service the rest of the 1944 and 1945 seasons, serving in the Euorpean Theater of Operations. He arrived back in time for the 1946 season and appeared in 132 games for the Gadsden Pilots of the Class B Southeastern League, hitting .321 with seven home runs plus being chosen for the All-Star team. He was back with the same club in 1947 and led the league in three categories: batting average (.375), hits (210) and runs scored (132), plus 20 home runs in another All-Star season. His team finished second in the standings, just 2 1/2 games back, and were edged out in the playoffs, 4 to 3.

Before the 1948 season, the Chicago White Sox acquired Bowers from the St. Louis Browns in an unknown transaction and stationed him with the Memphis Chickasaws, the team he played for in 1943-1944. Billy hit .346 with 10 home runs and made the All-Star team, but it was not quite enough as the team finished 3 games back and were edged out in the playoffs. His performance impressed the brass and he was given the opportunity to play in the bigs in 1949. After a solid spring, Bowers went north with the Chicago White Sox and made his debut on April 24, 1949. He appeared in 26 games but could only manage 15 hits in 78 at bats for a .192 batting average with no long balls and was sent back to Memphis after appearing in his last big league game on June 9. Billy appeared in 85 games for Memphis the remainder of the year, hitting just .247 with 4 home runs. With a little air out of his tires, Billy went back to Gadsden in 1950, a place he loved, and hit .306 and six homers in 98 games. He would tie up with the St. Louis Browns again in 1951 and spend the year with the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League where he hit .291 in 119 games. He suited up with the Maple Leafs again in 1952, but hit just .239 in 94 games and left the game at age 30 with nine seasons under his belt (1943-1952) and a .312 career batting average with 62 home runs in 918 minor league games.

After baseball, Bowers moved back to his native Parkin, AR, where he would work and live until his death on September 17, 1996 in Wynne, AR at 74 years.

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