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Bill Norman

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Henry Willis Patrick Norman

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[edit] Biographical Information

Bill Norman collected 2,105 hits (.304 BA) including 415 2B and 295 HR in the minor leagues between 1929 and 1946. He led the Texas League with 107 RBI in 1941, and led the American Association with 24 HR the next year.

He was a favorite of Bill Veeck, who employed Norman semi-regularly for most of his life after Norman tried to fudge his age as an outfielder with Veeck's minor league Milwaukee Brewers in the early 1940s.

Norman got his first managing job with the Toronto Maple Leafs, taking over for Harry Davis. In 1947, Norman started a 5-year run as manager of the Wilkes-Barre Barons, leading the team to the best record in the Eastern League in 1950 and 1951, and a league title in 1950. He became a coach for the St. Louis Browns in 1952, leaving in mid-1953 to manage the Browns' San Antonio Missions farm team. In 1954, he began the year managing the Detroit Tigers' farm team Little Rock Travelers, but was replaced by Stubby Overmire and scouted for the rest of the year and 1955 for the Tigers. In 1956 he managed the Terre Haute Tigers before moving to the Augusta Tigers in mid-year. He took over the Charleston Senators in mid-1957 and began 1958 with the club, before being summoned to Detroit to replace Jack Tighe. The club responded by playing .533 ball for Norman after playing at a .429 clip for Tighe. In 1959 the Tigers started 2-15 for Norman and he was replaced by Jimmy Dykes. Norman scouted for the Chicago White Sox from 1960 until 1962.

He was known by acquaintances as "Willie Card". This was mainly due to how much he enjoyed his foamy beverages, card-playing, and his colorful colloquialisms (or, merciless and ceaseless fracturing of the King's English).

He died in Milwaukee, WI, in April, 1962, while on a scouting assignment.


Preceded by
Jack Tighe
Detroit Tigers Manager
1958-1959
Succeeded by
Jimmy Dykes

[edit] Year-by-Year Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1946 Toronto Maple Leafs International League 6th Philadelphia A's replaced Harry Davis
1947 Wilkes-Barre Barons Eastern League 80-60 3rd Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
1948 Wilkes-Barre Barons Eastern League 48-91 8th Cleveland Indians
1949 Wilkes-Barre Indians Eastern League 77-63 3rd Cleveland Indians Lost League Finals
1950 Wilkes-Barre Indians Eastern League 90-48 1st Cleveland Indians League Champs
1951 Wilkes-Barre Indians Eastern League 85-54 1st Cleveland Indians Lost in 1st round
1953 San Antonio Missions Texas League 7th St. Louis Browns replaced Jimmie Crandall July 12
1954 Little Rock Travelers Southern Association -- Detroit Tigers -- replaced by Stubby Overmire on July 8
1956 Terre Haute Huts Three-I League 12-3 -- Detroit Tigers -- replaced by Charlie Metro on May 14
Augusta Tigers South Atlantic League 4th Detroit Tigers replaced Willis Hudlin on May 19
1957 Charleston Senators American Association 7th Detroit Tigers replaced Don Griffin on July 6
1958 Charleston Senators American Association 33-21 -- Detroit Tigers -- replaced by Bill Adair on June 10
Detroit Tigers American League 56-49 5th Detroit Tigers replaced Jack Tighe (21-28) on June 11
1959 Detroit Tigers American League 2-15 -- Detroit Tigers replaced by Jimmy Dykes on May 3
1961 San Diego Padres Pacific Coast League 4th Chicago White Sox none replaced Whitey Wietelmann on July 13

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