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Billy Harrell

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William Harrell

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Billy Harrell signed as an amateur free agent with the Cleveland Indians before the 1952 season. The 23-year-old infielder spent his initial season with the class B Cedar Rapids Indians of the Three-I League and the class A Reading Indians of the Eastern League playing in 60 games and hitting a combined .321.

Billy was a graduate of Siena College in Loudonville, New York where he also starred on the basketball court. He was elected to Siena's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1966. He finished a close second in the Eastern League batting race after hitting .330 for the Reading Indians in 1953. Most of his playing time in the mid-1950s was at Indianapolis, but in a brief stay with Cleveland in 1955, he was 8 for 19 at the plate for a .421 average. His average was a couple of hundred points less when he played in over 100 games for Cleveland in 1958.

Harrell once played in three countries in two days while with the Rochester Red Wings in 1960. After his team concluded the second game of a doubleheader past midnight in Havana, Cuba he flew to Toronto, ON to play in the International League All-Star Game that evening. The next night he was back in Rochester for a regular-season contest.

Billy played his last major league season with the Boston Red Sox in 1961 after being selected by the Red Sox in the 1960 Rule V Draft. In his four big league seasons he hit .231 in 173 games. Harrell plied his trade in pro baseball for 15 seasons, (1952-1966), finishing with the Toronto Maple Leafs. During his minor league play, he hit for a .284 batting average, with 114 homers while playing the infield at a .954 clip.

Harrell retired in Albany, NY, where he had been employed with the State Youth Division in placement and counseling. He died there in 2014, at the age of 85.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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