Bill Upton

From BR Bullpen

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William Ray Upton

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0", Weight 167 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Right-hander Bill Upton was the younger brother of major league infielder Tom Upton. Bill was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians before the 1948 season. The 19-year-old Bill was assigned to the Ardmore Indians of the Sooner State League for his first year in pro baseball and went 9-14 with a 5.08 ERA in a not-so-hot opening season.

With a winter to think about it and a big brother to help, Bill came back in 1949 with the Iola Indians of the Kansas-Oklahoma-Missouri League and built a 13-6 record with a 3.44 ERA, while pitching 186 innings. It was a very good recovery by the young pitcher, but at the year's end, he was called by the United States Military for duty in 1950 and 1951 during the Korean War.

Back from the military in time for the 1952 season, he was farmed out to the Spartanburg Peaches of the class B Tri-State League and posted a 21-9 record with a 3.87 ERA while pitching 225 innings, helping his team to a 96-54 record and the league pennant. Upton jumped up to the AAA Indianapolis Indians of the American Association in 1953 and went 10-6 with a 3.23 ERA, appearing in 36 games.

On February 19, 1954, Upton was traded along with Lee Wheat to the Philadelphia Athletics for Dave Philley. Bill made the roster out of spring training with the Athletics and made his debut on April 13th. Upton appeared in two games in relief and allowed just one run in five innings for a lifetime ERA of 1.80 with no decisions. This was Upton's only season in the major leagues.

Bill spent the rest of the 1954 season with the Tulsa Oilers, Ottawa Athletics and the Oakland Oaks, going 2-7 for the year. He came back strong in 1955 going 11-4 with a 2.29 ERA with three different clubs, the Columbia Reds, Oklahoma City Indians and the Nashville Volunteers. Arm trouble showed up in 1956 and 1957, holding Bill to just 24 appearances with four wins. He left baseball after the 1957 season at 28 years of age. Upton spent eight years in the minors, posting a 70-49 record with a 3.71 ERA while pitching 857 innings.

After baseball, Upton was a painting and drywall contractor in San Diego, CA, where he died on January 2, 1987, at the age of 57.


Baseball Players of the 1950s

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