William Harold Terry (October 30, 1898 - January 9, 1989) was a Major League Baseball first baseman and manager. Considered one of the greatest players of all time, Terry was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954. In 1999, he ranked number 59 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The Giants retired Terry's uniform no. 3 in 1984; it is posted on the facade of the upper deck in the left field corner of AT&T Park. Nicknamed "Memphis Bill", he is most remembered for being the last National League player to hit .400, a feat he accomplished by batting .401 in 1930.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Terry made his major league debut in 1923 with the New York Giants and played his first full season in 1925 when he hit .319. Playing his entire career with the Giants before retiring in 1936, Terry posted seven seasons with 100 or more runs, six seasons with 100 or more RBI, six seasons with at least 200 hits, and nine consecutive seasons batting .320 or higher, from 1927 through 1935. He also showed some pop, posting three seasons with at least 20 home runs, including a career high of 28 in 1932.
Arguably Terry's finest season - and certainly his most historic - was 1930 when he scored 139 runs, hit 23 home runs, had 129 RBI, hit .401, and was The Sporting News NL MVP. He remains the last National League player to have hit .400 or higher (the feat has been more recently accomplished by Ted Williams in the American League). Terry retired with 1120 runs scored, 154 home runs, 1078 RBI and a .341 batting average.
He has the current highest National League left-handed career batting average (.341).
In 1932, Terry also took over managerial duties from John McGraw. He managed the Giants long after he finished playing, compiling 823 wins and 661 losses before retiring in 1941. He led the Giants to three National League pennants (1933, 1936 and 1937) and one World Series championship (1933).
Terry was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954 by the BBWAA, along with Rabbit Maranville and Bill Dickey. In 1999, he ranked number 59 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players, and was a nominee for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. The Giants retired Terry's uniform no. 3 in 1984; it is posted on the facade of the upper deck in the left field corner of AT&T Park.
Bill Terry is mentioned in the poem "Lineup for Yesterday" by Ogden Nash:
|Lineup for Yesterday|
|T is for Terry|
The Giant from Memphis
Whose .400 average
You can't overemphis.
|— Ogden Nash, Sport magazine (January 1949)|
- Top 500 home run hitters of all time
- List of major league players with 2,000 hits
- List of Major League Baseball players with 100 triples
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- Hitting for the cycle
- List of Major League Baseball batting champions
- List of Major League Baseball runs scored champions
- List of Major League Baseball triples champions
- Major League Baseball hitters with three home runs in one game
- baseballhalloffame.org – Hall of Fame biography page
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Baseball-reference.com – Major league career managerial statistics
- Find-A-Grave biography
- The Deadball Era
|National League Batting Champion|
|New York Giants Manager|