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Billy Reed

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William Joseph Reed

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Billy Reed was a left-hand hitting second baseman who started out in pro ball after attending the University of Notre Dame and spending four years in the United States Army during World War II. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Philadelphia Phillies before the 1946 season. Reed spent his first season with the Green Bay Bluejays of the Wisconsin State League, where he appeared in 97 games and hit for a fine .363 average.

Reed then spent the next five seasons in the minors, working his way up the ladder for a shot at the major leagues and was sent to the Boston Braves in an unknown transaction before the 1947 season, during which he hit .326 for the Evansville Braves of the Three-I League. 1949 found Billy with the Hartford Chiefs where he led the Eastern League with a .338 average and played second base for the All-Star team.

Billy hit over .300 for three straight years from 1950 to 1952 for the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association. He began the latter season as the Opening Day second sacker for the Boston Braves in the same game in which Eddie Mathews made his big league debut for the Braves at third base. But after hitting .250 in 15 games, Reed returned to the minors. This was it for Billy in the major leagues.

Billy spent three more years, from 1953 to 1955, in pro baseball, all with the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association. He concluded his 10-year minor league run in 1955 at the age of 32 with a career .314 hitting average, including 24 home runs while appearing in 1,039 games. He also showed a .976 fielding percentage, all in the infield.

After baseball, Billy moved to Houston, Texas, where he lived and worked as a customer services manager before retiring from the American Can Company. Billy died on December 5, 2005 at the age of 83 in Houston.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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