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Billy Loes

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William Loes

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Homegrown Billy Loes was signed off the sandlots of Brooklyn, NY when the Brooklyn Dodgers signed him for a bargain bonus of $22,000 before the 1948 season. After debuting in the majors in 1950, he missed the 1952 season due to military service at the time of the Korean War. During his first four full seasons he compiled 50 wins, but he gradually faded and won only 30 more during his last six years of his once highly promising major league career.

Loes made his mark as the young starting pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodger teams that won the pennants in 1952 and 1953 and the World Series in 1955. In 1952 he went 13-8, in 1953 he went 14-8, in 1954 he went 13-5, and in 1955 he went 10-4. The rest of his career was mediocre, and he had only one season when his winning percentage was well over .500 (in 1957 when he went 12-7 for the Baltimore Orioles) and was named to his only All-Star Game. He finished his career with a 6-5 record for the San Francisco Giants in 1961.

Loes was a character who was the subject of various anecdotes. Once, when he kicked Gene Woodling's ground ball in the critical Game 6 of the 1952 World Series, he remarked that he lost it in the sun.

In that same Series, he was said to have picked the opposing New York Yankees to win the World Series in six games. When confronted by his manager Charlie Dressen about how he could have done that, Loes is said to have remarked that it wasn't true - in truth, he'd picked the Yankees to win in seven games instead.

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