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Bill Harvey

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David William Harvey (Lefty, Wild Bill)

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 8 1/2", Weight 176 lb.

Bill Harvey was a generally unexceptional pitcher in the Negro Leagues, Mexican League who nevertheless enjoyed a relatively long career (1931-1947).

Harvey debuted with the Memphis Red Sox, going 1-0 in 1931 and 2-4 in 1932. He made stops with three different teams in 1933 then settled in on the back end of the Pittsburgh Crawfords staff. He was 4-4 for the great Crawfords of 1935, 1-1 in 1936, 1-1 in 1937 and 2-0 in 1938. He remained with the club when it moved to Toledo in 1939.

The veteran left-hander appeared in the 1939-1940 California Winter League, where James Riley credits him with a win over Bob Feller. This is not entirely true - Feller left the game with the score tied at 2 (Harvey had helped his own cause with a triple off the Indians ace) and Lee Stine took the loss in relief. Harvey was 2-1 that winter, his only one in California.

The Clarksdale native was 7-9 with a 4.84 ERA in the 1940 Mexican League, pitching for the Monterrey Industrials and Tampico Lightermen. With Tampico in 1941, he was awful at 2-7, 7.60 with 44 walks to 17 strikeouts in 58 innings. Harvey next moved on to the Baltimore Elite Giants, where he pitched from 1942-1947. He was 3-1 for Baltimore in 1942, 3-7 in 1943 (also hitting .206 as a regular outfielder) and 3-2 in 1944 before seeing limited action in other years.

Bill pitched for the East in the 1943 East-West Game, relieving Johnny Wright with a 2-0 deficit in the 6th and tossing one scoreless inning before being replaced by Leon Day.

The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues lists Harvey as going 5-10 for the 1950 Youngstown A's but the 1951 Baseball Guide lists that William Harvey as a right-hander, likely meaning it was a different player. The Biographical Encyclopedia also lists Harvey as spending five winters pitching in the Puerto Rican League.

Not a hurler noted for his control, he once broke two of Vic Harris's ribs with a pitch and also broke Ted Page's arm. A ladies' man off the field, he was a curfew problem for his managers.

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