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Billy Joe Davidson

From BR Bullpen

Billy Joe Davidson

  • Bats Right, Throws Left
  • Height 6' 3", Weight 210 lb.

BR Minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

The Cleveland Indians signed Marion, NC High School star and lanky lefthander Billy Joe Davidson for a reported $150,000 on May 29, 1951, eclipsing the $100,000 the Pittsburgh Pirates paid to Paul Pettit in 1949. Several teams sought the services of the tall lefty, alleged to be the best Indians prospect since Bob Feller. Other sources reported $120,000 and $100,000 and subsequent research has it that the lower of the three is most likely correct.

He pitched for Fort Smith in the Western Association (1951); Cedar Rapids in the Three-I League (1951); Spartanburg in the Tri-State League (1952); Reading in the Eastern League (1953); the Indianapolis Indians in the American Association (1954-1955); the San Diego Padres in the Pacific Coast League (1955); and Mobile in the Southern Association (1956) and, after getting hurt in a basketball game, was never heard from again. He was 51-39 in the minors with above average ERA's. His best stretch was the 1952-1954 period. He went 16-8 with a 3.91 ERA for the Spartanburg Peaches in '52, then was 11-8 with a 2.89 ERA for the Reading Indians the next season and finished the stretch with a 11-7, 3.59 campaign for Indianapolis. By this time he was primarily a reliever, starting 9 games and relieving in 41 others.

Following his baseball career, Davidson owned a textile business in North Carolina. He died in 2009 at age 75.

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