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Bill Terry

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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.

Playing careerEdit

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).

Managerial careerEdit

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).

Baseball honorsEdit

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)[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Baseball Almanac. Retrieved on 2008-01-23.

External links Edit

Preceded by:
Lefty O'Doul
National League Batting Champion
1930
Succeeded by:
Chick Hafey
Preceded by:
John McGraw
New York Giants Manager
1932–1941
Succeeded by:
Mel Ott

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