Bill DeWitt

From BR Bullpen

William Orville DeWitt

Biographical Information[edit]

Bill DeWitt started out selling soda in Sportsman's Park. When Branch Rickey needed an office boy, he asked the manager of the ballpark to send up a "bright youngster", so the manager sent up 14-year-old DeWitt. DeWitt followed Rickey from the St. Louis Browns to the St. Louis Cardinals doing office work after school and summers. DeWitt would become a full-time employee and attend night school. He attended Saint Louis University and Washington University in Saint Louis eventually passing the Missouri Bar exam in 1931. DeWitt became the club treasurer, then became business manager for Dizzy Dean and Pepper Martin.

In 1936, DeWitt organized a group to buy the St. Louis Browns and became the vice president and general manager. In 1949, Bill and his brother Charles bought the total holdings of the Browns. The DeWitts sold the team to Bill Veeck in 1951, but Bill signed a five-year deal to stay with the team as vice president. He stayed with the team when they moved to Baltimore, then became the assistant GM of the New York Yankees in April, 1954. DeWitt became president of the Detroit Tigers in October, 1959, then moved to the Cincinnati Reds in November, 1960 as vice president/GM. Following the death of long-time owner Powel Crosley, he became president of the team in 1961, then bought the team in 1962. He sold the Reds in January 1968.

His son, Bill DeWitt Jr., is the current owner of the Cardinals.

Preceded by
St. Louis Browns General Manager
Succeeded by
Art Ehlers
Preceded by
Gabe Paul
Cincinnati Reds General Manager
Succeeded by
Bob Howsam

Further Reading[edit]

  • Burton A. Boxerman and Benita W. Boxerman: Bill DeWitt, Sr.: Patriarch of a Baseball Family, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2021. ISBN 978-1-4766-7260-1
  • Dwayne Isgrig: "Bill DeWitt", in Charles F. Faber, ed.: The 1934 St. Louis Cardinals: The World Champion Gas House Gang, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 243-249. ISBN 978-1-933599-731

Related Sites[edit]