Bill Watkins

From BR Bullpen

Bill Watkins.jpg

William Harton Thomas Watkins

  • Bats Right, Throws Unknown
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 156 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Bill Watkins managed major league teams for nine seasons in the 19th Century and also played in 1884.

Watkins was born in Brantford, ON, not far from Niagara Falls, ON. Between the majors and the minors, he managed at least 22 seasons. He also played ball in the northern U.S. including in Port Huron, MI the place where he eventually died in 1937.

Watkins saw Sam Thompson play when they were both in Indianapolis and in 1885 Watkins acquired Thompson for the Detroit Wolverines. The move paid off handsomely when the Wolverines won both the pennant and post-season play in 1887, with Thompson and the "Big Four" as stars.

The Big Four had big salaries, and that caused stresses on the Detroit team's financial status. At one point, Watkins recommended moving to the American Association where there would be better financial flexibility in terms of handling gate receipts. That didn't happen, and after a couple more years the Detroit team ceased to exist.

In 1902 the Indianapolis Indians minor league franchise was awarded to Watkins, and he named himself president and manager. The team went 96-45. Although he became manager of the Minneapolis Millers in 1903, he later (1906-1912) again served as president of Indianapolis.

Preceded by
Bob Caruthers
St. Louis Browns Manager
Succeeded by
Doggie Miller
Preceded by
Patsy Donovan
Pittsburgh Pirates Manager
Succeeded by
Patsy Donovan

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Notes
1884 Bay City Northwestern League 39-16 -- none Team disbanded on July 22
Indianapolis Hoosiers American Association 4-18 12th Indianapolis Hoosiers replaced Jim Gifford (25-60) on September 9
1885 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western League 27-4 1st none Team disbanded on June 15, causing league to disband
Detroit Wolverines National League 34-36 6th Detroit Wolverines replaced Charlie Morton (7-31) on June 25
1886 Detroit Wolverines National League 87-36 2nd Detroit Wolverines
1887 Detroit Wolverines National League 79-45 1st Detroit Wolverines League Champs
1888 Detroit Wolverines National League 49-44 -- Detroit Wolverines replaced by Bob Leadley on August 27
Kansas City Cowboys American Association 8-17 8th Kansas City Cowboys replaced Dave Rowe (14-36) and Sam Barkley (21-36) on September 14
1889 Kansas City Cowboys American Association 55-82 7th Kansas City Cowboys
1891 St. Paul Apostles/Duluth Whalebacks Western League -- none replaced by Jay Anderson
1893 St. Louis Browns National League 57-75 10th St. Louis Browns
1894 Sioux City Cornhuskers Western League 74-52 1st none League Champs
1895 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western League 78-43 1st none League Champs
1896 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western League 78-54 2nd none Lost League playoffs
1897 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western League 98-37 1st none League Champs
1898 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 72-76 8th Pittsburgh Pirates
1899 Pittsburgh Pirates National League 7-15 -- Pittsburgh Pirates replaced by Patsy Donovan on May 16
1901 Indianapolis Hoosiers Western Association 57-79 6th none
1902 Indianapolis Indians American Association 95-44 1st none League Champs
1903 Indianapolis Indians American Association 78-61 4th none
1904 Minneapolis Millers American Association 78-67 4th none
1905 Minneapolis Millers American Association 88-62 3rd none
1906 Indianapolis Indians American Association -- none replaced by Charlie Carr
1911 Huntsville Westerns Southeastern League -- none 2nd of five managers

Related Sites[edit]