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Bill Cissell

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Chalmer William Cissell

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Bill Cissell, a player of whom great things were expected, had a nine-year career in the major leagues. Although he was never a strong hitter, he was once 11th in the MVP voting, and another time was 15th in the voting.

Cissell was purchased by the Chicago White Sox from the Portland Beavers in 1927 for $123,000, one of the largest purchases in baseball history at the time. Two years earlier, his discharge from the U.S. Army had been purchased by Des Moines of the Western League for $75.

Cissell played shortstop for the White Sox. He began his career with six hits in his first eleven at bats and it looked like Mr. Comiskey's purchase of the young Cissell was a wise move.

Unfortunately, the pressure on Cissell was too great and he began to flounder. In 1930, he was moved to second base and was paired with a young Luke Appling. After hitting .220 in 1931, he was moved to the Cleveland Indians early in the 1932 season.

Without the pressure he faced in Chicago, Cissell thrived and hit .320 during the remainder of the year with the Indians. The following season he returned to his weak hitting, batting just .230. He played the 1934 season with the Boston Red Sox before catching on with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League.

In 1935, he played again for the Portland Beavers and was the last of three managers of the team that season. The team finished with an overall record of 87-86 and in 4th place in the Pacific Coast League.

Cissell was drafted in the 1936 Rule V Draft by the Philadelphia Athletics before the 1937 season. He hit .265 for the A's in 34 games. He spent 1938 with Baltimore before his contract was purchased by the New York Giants in August. He finished his major league career with 38 games for the 1938 Giants. Following the 1938 season, he was sold to the Hollywood Stars in the PCL.

After his playing career, Bill Cissell worked for the Chicago White Sox as a maintenance man. He died destitute at the age of 45 after being found in a small apartment in Chicago in 1949.

"The ballyhoo I got when Portland sold me for that sum was the greatest burden any player ever carried to the majors." - Bill Cissell

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