James Robert Shilling
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 175 lb.
- Debut April 21, 1939
- Final Game September 30, 1939
- Born May 14, 1914 in Tulsa, OK USA
- Died September 12, 1986 in Tulsa, OK USA
Oklahoma native Jim Shilling spent eleven active seasons in professional baseball from 1935 to 1948. He was signed by the Cleveland Indians organization before the 1935 season and assigned to their farm system, where he spent time with four different clubs before getting his first chance at the major leagues in 1939. In 1935, Jim's opening season in the game, he hit .345 and 24 home runs for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins of the class D Northern League. His .345 batting average led the league and he also had a league-leading 160 base hits. Jim was with the Zanesville Greys of the Middle Atlantic League in 1936 and increased his batting average to .350 and his home run count to 28. He helped his team to the league and play-off titles but Barney McCosky won the hitting crown with an even .400 mark and Walter Alston hit 35 four-baggers.
Shilling made his major league debut with the Indians on April 21, 1939. For the season, he appeared in 31 games and hit .276 while fielding the shortstop position. After this short period with the Indians, he was optioned to the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association, appeared in 63 games and hit at a .241 clip. At that time, he was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies and finished out his major league time in 11 games with a .303 batting average. Jim played in his final game with the Phillies on September 30th. He finished his big league run in just 42 games and a .282 batting average.
Shilling spent the rest of his pro baseball career in the minor leagues (1940-1948) with the exception of a three-year period (1943-1945) with the United States Coast Guard during World War II.
On his return from military service, Jim spent three more years in the game. In 1946, he was with the Nashville Volunteers of the Southern Association, hitting .283 in 150 games. He spent the last two years of his minor league career with the Tulsa Oilers of the Texas League, his numbers dropped considerably, and he called it a career after 16 games in 1948. He ended his minor league time at the age of 34, with a .291 batting average and 101 home runs in 1,163 games.