Bill Lillard

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William Beverly Lillard

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Biographical Information[edit]

The brother of Gene Lillard, shortstop Bill Lillard played pro baseball for nine seasons from 1937 to 1948, spending two summers in the Majors and losing three years to the military.

After playing in the Arizona-Texas League in 1937, the Pacific Coast League in 1938 (where he was a teammate of Dom DiMaggio on the San Francisco Seals), and the International League in 1939, Lillard broke into the big leagues as a 21 year old on September 11, 1939 with the Philadelphia Athletics. He split the following summer between the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he was a teammate of player-manager Tony Lazzeri, and the Athletics, for whom he got into 69 games at shortstop while Al Brancato played 80 games at the position. Lillard out-hit him by a comfortable margin, but Brancato kept the job in 1941, and Lillard returned to the minors.

Following stints in the International League, Pacific Coast League, and Texas League, Lillard served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II from 1943 to 1945. He then returned to pro ball, spending 1946 in the American Association, 1947 in the International League, and 1948 in the Pacific Coast League. Overall, in nine years in the minors, he hit 21 home runs with 266 RBI and a lifetime batting average of ~.260.

Following his baseball career, Lillard worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 32 years. He died in 2009 at age 91.


Principal sources for Bill Lillard include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs {{{WW}}} (WW), old Baseball Registers {{{BR}}} (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN {{{DAG}}} (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) {{{MORE}}} and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

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