William Hampton Dial
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.
Bill Dial pitched as high as AAA.
Dial was 3-6 with a 5.20 ERA for the 1955 Salinas Packers. In 1956, he posted a 13-10, 5.96 record for the Phoenix Stars in the high-scoring Arizona-Mexico League (league average of over 7 runs per game). He tied Joe Orrell, George Perez and John Smith for 8th in wins; two of the those three would spend time in the majors.
He had his best season with the 1957 San Jose JoSox at 20-8, 2.12. He tossed one shutout inning June 28 to finish his day against the Bakersfield Bears then went on an amazing run in a hitter's league (5.65 runs per game). He blanked Fresno in 7 innings on July 2, Modesto four days later, Reno on the 12th and Stockton on July 17 to improve to 18-2. He then shut out the to-be league champion Visalia Redlegs for five innings before giving up a run in the 6th on July 21. He broke the California League record of three straight shutouts, shared by Price Ferguson and Dave Jordan and broke Jordan's consecutive scoreless inning streak record of 35, finishing with 40. It was even more impressive as offensive records were falling around the league, including Fran Boniar setting the league's record for average (still standing as of 2014) and Vada Pinson tying the hit record. Gary DeBenedetti matched the record in 1970 but no one has surpassed them through 2014. He led the league in ERA by .57 over Pete Hernandez, was third in wins (behind Hernandez and Bob Giallombardo), led in shutouts (6, one more than Hernandez) and was second with 26 complete games (one behind Hernandez).
Dial was 4-8 with a 5.76 ERA in 41 games for the 1958 Lincoln Chiefs; only Ed Bauta pitched more games for Lincoln. The Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand was 11-8 with a 2.85 ERA for the 1959 Columbus Pirates/Gastonia Pirates, but walked 78 in 139 innings. He was one inning shy of qualifying for the South Atlantic League lead in ERA; had he qualified, he would have ranked 6th (between Ralph Lumenti and Charles Spell. He pitched briefly for the 1960 Salt Lake City Bees (4 H, 4 BB, 2 R in 3 IP) to end his career. He had gone 51-40 with a 4.12 ERA in 165 minor league games, the ERA being deceptively high due to the number of high-offense loops he pitched in. He hit .217.
Sources include 1958 and 1960 Baseball Guides