Monday, May 8, 2017

Billy Pierce 8x10...as a Giant


I haven't added a lot to my Billy Pierce collection as of late other than the sketch card I got last week. I had this photo on my eBay 'Watch List' for awhile and it was relisted a few times before the seller dropped the price. I figured for 7 bucks, why not?

Billy's signature never changed. And he always looked younger than his years. This shot is from 1962 or '63 as it was taken in the Polo Grounds with the Giants revisiting their old haunt to play the Mets.

Pierce went 16-6 with a 3.49 ERA and 1.12 WHiP in '62 as he rebounded nicely after being dealt to the Giants the previous winter. Here is the trade listing from Baseball Reference:

November 30, 1961: Traded by the Chicago White Sox with Don Larsen to the San Francisco Giants for a player to be named later, Bob Farley, Eddie Fisher and Dom Zanni. The San Francisco Giants sent Verle Tiefenthaler (August 17, 1962) to the Chicago White Sox to complete the trade.
San Francisco got the better end of that one as they went on to win the NL pennant and battle the Yankees to the last out of the last game of the 1962 World Series. Pierce was third in the Cy Young balloting and got two starts in the Fall Classic. That made him happy I'm sure after inexplicably being passed over by the White Sox 'brain trust' in the '59 Series. After losing a tough Game Three to Bill Stafford Pierce beat Whitey Ford and the Yanks in Game Six, 5 to 2.

That was his last big career moment. BP wound it up with a couple of seasons of being shuttled back and forth between a starters role and the bullpen and after the '64 season he hung up his glove.

Last thought: Love the Rheingold sign on the scoreboard. That brew was the Mets' big sponsor for many years. Here is Mets' announcer Bob Murphy pitching it circa 1970.