Bill Harrington

From BR Bullpen

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William Womble Harrington

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 160 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Right-hander Bill Harrington was signed by the Philadelphia Athletics before the 1949 season. The Athletics assigned him to the Red Springs Red Robins of the class D Tobacco State League and the first-year man responded by going 17-11 with a 3.85 ERA while pitching 234 innings, helping his team to a close second-place league finish and to a play-off championship his first season in pro ball. The North Carolina native had three more double-digit winning seasons with 10 wins in 1951, with 14 in 1952 and had a 19-12 year with a 2.68 ERA for the sixth-place-finishing Savannah Indians of the class A Sally League in 1952. That performance opened his door to Shibe Park, to pitch for the Athletics at the start of the 1953 season.

The hard-throwing pitcher appeared in one game for Philadelphia that April with no decisions before being sent down to the minor leagues, pitching for the Ottawa A's. He missed the 1954 season, likelybecause of military service, then returned to the major leagues with the Kansas City Athletics in 1955 and 1956, finishing with a record of 5-5 in 58 appearances. These would be Harrington's numbers in the big leagues. His fondest memory of his time in the majors is a game on July 6, 1955 against the Cleveland Indians which he entered in relief of Alex Kellner with the bases full and nobody out in the 5th, and retired sluggers Al Rosen, Ralph Kiner and Larry Doby without a run scoring. He was in line to claim his first big league win that day, but he, Tom Gorman and Johnny Sain failed to hold the A's lead in the 8th, giving up a total of 6 runs for an 8-4 loss charged to Gorman. On December 5, 1956, Bill was traded by the Athletics, along with Jack Crimian, Jim Finigan and Eddie Robinson, to the Detroit Tigers for Wayne Belardi, Ned Garver, Gene Host, Virgil Trucks and $20,000.

Bill had two rough years in the minors in 1956 and 1957 but came back strong in 1958 with the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association when he went 20-7 with a 2.99 ERA in 214 innings and was named the league's MVP. His 20 victories tied him for the league lead along with Jim O'Toole and Bob Hartman and helped his team to the league championship and playoff title. He won 10 times in 1959 for the Dallas Rangers of the American Association, but faltered in 1960 and 1961. He decided to call it a career in 1961, at the age of 33, after eleven years in the minor leagues with a 115-102 record and a 3.76 ERA while pitching 1,881 innings.

After baseball Harrington made his home in Garner, NC, where he has been in security police work and is a retired farmer.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Sources[edit]

Baseball Players of the 1950s

Related Sites[edit]