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Encyclopedia Dubuque


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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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MCWILLIAMS, Bill. (Dubuque, IA, November 28, 1910--Garland, TX, Jan. 21, 1997). McWilliams, son of the manager of WALES HOTEL, grew up in Chicago. (1) played two games in the majors with the Boston Red Sox on July 11, 1931. (1) He was issued #27. (2) He had been at the University of Iowa.

Although he never returned to the majors after 1931, he played in the minors through 1941, several times hitting over .300 and managing for a while in 1941.

He batted and threw right and played his last game on July 11, 1931. (3)

In 1932 McWilliams played for three teams in three different leagues, and two other teams in two other leagues in 1933. He had the most success in 1932 with the Class-A Western League's Tulsa Oilers, affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in 43 games and hit .248 with five home runs. He appeared in 21 games for the Three-I League's Decatur Commodores, affiliated with the Detroit Tigers, but hit .143 with just two extra-base hits, both triples. He appeared in one Double-A game, for the St. Paul Saints, with one hitless at-bat. (4)

In 1933, with the Middle Atlantic League's Springfield (Ohio) Chicks, he hit .359 with 14 homers in 76 games. He appeared in 50 games for the Williamsport Grays, a Philadelphia Athletics affiliate. He hit .282 with two homers. In 1934, McWilliams spent the first of three seasons with the St. Paul Saints again. The American Association team saw him hit .246 with 13 homers in 140 games. (5)

In 1934, McWilliams spent the first of three seasons with the St. Paul Saints hitting .246 with 13 homers in 140 games. (6)

McWilliams had played football at the University of Iowa before choosing baseball. In the fall of 1934 played for the NFL's Detroit Lions. He played wideback on the team in five games. He had six attempts to advance the football and gained a total of 16 yards, thus averaging a little less than 2.7 yards per carry. (6)

McWilliams did not appear in any other NFL game, but he did return to the Saints and played 1935 and 1936 there. He improved his statistics each year over 1934: in 1935, he hit .280 with 13 homers and in 1936, he hit .306 with 14 homers. (7)

In 1937 he played for three teams in one season: Dallas, the White Sox affiliate in the Texas League, where he hit .243 in 33 games; Memphis, for 32 games where he hit .269; and the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League (another Cubs affiliate), where he hit .314 with his only homers of the year -- nine - in 54 games. (8)

The year 1938 he played for Williamsport once more (36 games, .286), the Hollywood Stars (45 games, .192), and Baltimore in the International League (.133 in 13 games). (9)

He joined the Brooklyn Dodgers system in 1939 playing the full year for Elmira.(265, 11 homers, 136 games). He played most of 1940 in Springfield, Massachusetts, batting .314 in Eastern League action (111 games), but played 16 games for Dayton (.193). (10)

McWilliams began the 1941 season as playing manager for Dayton, but for only part of the season. He hit .236 in 50 games, but he also played for Durham (63 games, .259) and Springfield again (.243 in just 10 games). That was his last season in organized baseball. (11)



1. Nowlin, Bill. "Bill McWilliams," Society for American Baseball Research, Online: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/2d5d6976

2. Baseball Almanac. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/player.php?p=mcwilbi01

3. Nowlin

4. "Bill McWilliams," Baseball Reference, Online: https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Bill_McWilliams

5. Nowlin

6. Ibid.

7. Ibid.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid.

10. Ibid.

11. Ibid.