Bill Watkins

From BR Bullpen

Bill Watkins.jpg

William Henry Watkins

  • Bats Right, Throws Unknown
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 156 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Bill Watkins managed major league teams for nine seasons in the 19th Century and also played in 1884.

Watkins was born in Brantford, ON, not far from Niagara Falls, ON. Between the majors and the minors, he managed at least 22 seasons. He also played ball in the northern U.S. including in Port Huron, MI the place where he eventually died in 1937.

Watkins saw Sam Thompson play when they were both in Indianapolis and in 1885 Watkins acquired Thompson for the Detroit Wolverines. The move paid off handsomely when the Wolverines won both the pennant and post-season play in 1887, with Thompson and the "Big Four" as stars.

The Big Four had big salaries, and that caused stresses on the Detroit team's financial status. At one point, Watkins recommended moving to the American Association where there would be better financial flexibility in terms of handling gate receipts. That didn't happen, and after a couple more years the Detroit team ceased to exist.

In 1902 the Indianapolis Indians minor league franchise was awarded to Watkins, and he named himself president and manager. The team went 96-45. Although he became manager of the Minneapolis Millers in 1903, he later (1906-1912) again served as president of Indianapolis.

Preceded by
Bob Caruthers
St. Louis Browns Manager
Succeeded by
Doggie Miller
Preceded by
Patsy Donovan
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager
Succeeded by
Patsy Donovan

Year-by-Year Minor League Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Notes
1884 Bay City Northwestern League 39-16 -- Team disbanded on July 22
1885 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western League 27-4 1st Team disbanded on June 15, causing league to disband
1891 St. Paul Apostles/Duluth Whalebacks Western League -- replaced by Jay Anderson
1894 Sioux City Cornhuskers Western League 74-52 1st
1895 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western League 78-43 1st
1896 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western League 78-54 2nd Lost League playoffs
1897 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western League 98-37 1st
1901 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western Association 57-79 6th
1902 Indianapolis Indians American Association 95-44 1st
1903 Indianapolis Indians American Association 78-61 4th
1904 Minneapolis Millers American Association 78-67 4th
1905 Minneapolis Millers American Association 88-62 3rd
1906 Indianapolis Indians American Association -- replaced by Charlie Carr
1911 Huntsville Westerns Southeastern League -- 2nd of five managers

Related Sites[edit]