|Born: November 2, 1919 |
|May 19, 1944, for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|June 3, 1944, for the Philadelphia Athletics|
|Runs batted in||0|
William Henry Mills [Buster] (born November 2, 1919) is a former catcher who played in Major League Baseball during the 1944 season. Listed at 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m), 175 lb, he batted and threw right-handed.
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his/her turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the (home) umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. In addition to this primary duty, the catcher is also called upon to master many other skills in order to field the position well. The role of the catcher is similar to that of the wicket-keeper in cricket.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Mills was one of many ballplayers who only appeared in the major leagues during World War II.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Mills started with the Philadelphia Athletics in 1944 as an unsigned free agent out of Holy Cross, where he was a member of the football and baseball squads from 1939 through 1943. In his senior season, Mills served as the captain of the Crusaders baseball team and won the batting title of the league with a .586 average. He was nicknamed Buster after Colonel Buster Mills, who spent nine seasons in the major leagues as a player or manager.
The College of the Holy Cross or better known simply as Holy Cross is a private Jesuit liberal arts college in Worcester, Massachusetts. Founded in 1843, Holy Cross is the oldest Catholic college in New England and one of the oldest in the United States.
American football, referred to as football in the United States and Canada and also known as gridiron, is a team sport played by two teams of eleven players on a rectangular field with goalposts at each end. The offense, which is the team controlling the oval-shaped football, attempts to advance down the field by running with or passing the ball, while the defense, which is the team without control of the ball, aims to stop the offense's advance and aims to take control of the ball for themselves. The offense must advance at least ten yards in four downs, or plays, and otherwise they turn over the football to the defense; if the offense succeeds in advancing ten yards or more, they are given a new set of four downs. Points are primarily scored by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone for a touchdown or kicking the ball through the opponent's goalposts for a field goal. The team with the most points at the end of a game wins.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, and to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
Mills, who had been rejected by the military draft because of a perforated ear drum, started his professional baseball career in 1944 with the Lancaster Red Roses of the Interstate League, but was promoted to the Athletics in the month of June as the draft was depleting major league rosters of first-line players. He was used primarily as a pinch-hitter in four games and caught one game, going 1-for-4 for a .250 batting average.
The Lancaster Red Roses baseball team, originally known as the Maroons, changed its name at the start of the 1906 season during a bitter match with the York, Pennsylvania-based White Roses. Some sources indicate that the rival teams were named for the opposing factions in England's historic Wars of the Roses. The Lancaster Red Roses played at Stumpf Field, which is still used today by local baseball and softball leagues.
The Interstate League was the name of five different American minor baseball leagues that played intermittently from 1896 through 1952.
Batting average is a statistic in cricket, baseball, and softball that measures the performance of batsmen in cricket and batters in baseball and softball. The development of the baseball statistic was influenced by the cricket statistic.
Following his major league stint, Mills played in the minor leagues until 1949. Over a five-year career, he posted a .286 average with 17 home runs in 316 games.After retirement, Mills returned to his native Boston and pursued a teaching and coaching career at the high school level. At age 99, he is the second oldest Baseball player, behind Tom Jordan.
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to circle the bases and reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process. In modern baseball, the feat is typically achieved by hitting the ball over the outfield fence between the foul poles without first touching the ground, resulting in an automatic home run. There is also the "inside-the-park" home run where the batter reaches home safely while the baseball is in play on the field.
Thomas Jefferson Jordan is a retired American professional baseball player, a catcher who appeared in 39 Major League games over three seasons for the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians (1946), and the St. Louis Browns (1948). Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, Jordan stood 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m) tall and weighed 195 pounds (88 kg). He threw and batted right-handed.
The 1944 Philadelphia Athletics season involved the A's finishing 5th in the American League with a record of 72 wins and 82 losses.
Edward Trowbridge Collins Sr., nicknamed "Cocky", was an American professional baseball player, manager and executive. He played as a second baseman in Major League Baseball from 1906 to 1930 for the Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox. A graduate of Columbia University, Collins holds major league career records in several categories and is among the top few players in several other categories. In 1925, Collins became just the sixth person to join the 3,000 hit club – and the last for the next 17 seasons.
James Laverne "Skeeter" Webb was an American professional baseball infielder in Major League Baseball from 1932 to 1949. He played 12 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Philadelphia Athletics.
Robert Pershing Doerr was an American professional baseball second baseman and coach. He played his entire 14-year Major League Baseball (MLB) career for the Boston Red Sox (1937–51). A nine-time MLB All-Star, Doerr batted over .300 three times, drove in more than 100 runs six times, and set Red Sox team records in several statistical categories despite missing one season due to military service during World War II. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1986.
Aloysius Harry Simmons, born Alois Szymanski, was an American baseball player. Nicknamed "Bucketfoot Al" because his stride took him toward third base, he played for two decades in Major League Baseball (MLB) as an outfielder and had his best years with Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics during the late 1920s and early 1930s. In between, Simmons played with the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, Washington Senators, Boston Braves, Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox.
Franklin Witman "Blimp" Hayes was an American professional baseball catcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and Boston Red Sox. Although Hayes was considered one of the best catchers in the American League in the late 1930s and early 1940s, he played for an Athletics team that routinely finished in last place. A six-time All-Star, he holds the major league record of most consecutive games played by a catcher.
Samuel Jethroe, nicknamed "The Jet", was an American center fielder in Negro league and Major League Baseball. With the Cincinnati & Cleveland Buckeyes he won a pair of batting titles, hit .340 over seven seasons from 1942 to 1948, and helped the team to two pennants and the 1945 Negro World Series title. He was named the National League's Rookie of the Year in 1950 with the Boston Braves, and led the NL in stolen bases in his first two seasons.
John Phalen "Stuffy" McInnis was a first baseman and manager in Major League Baseball.
Clarence McKay "Ace" Parker was an American football and baseball player and coach. He played professional football as a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1937–1941) and Boston Yanks (1945) and in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) for the New York Yankees. He was an All-American halfback at Duke University in 1936. Parker also played Major League Baseball during 1936 and 1937 with the Philadelphia Athletics. He served as the head baseball coach at Duke from 1953 to 1966. Parker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1955 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972.
Charles Abraham "Chuck" Essegian is an American former professional baseball left fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) the Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles, Kansas City Athletics, and Cleveland Indians. He also played one season in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Kintetsu Buffaloes.
Edward Joseph Mayo, nicknamed "Hotshot" and "Steady Eddie", was a professional baseball infielder. He played nine seasons in Major League Baseball for the New York Giants (1936), Boston Braves (1937–38), Philadelphia Athletics (1943) and Detroit Tigers (1944–48).
Debs C. Garms was a professional baseball player for twelve seasons as an outfielder and third baseman for the St. Louis Browns, Boston Braves, Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. Garms broke up Johnny Vander Meer's streak of hitless innings in 1938. He won the National League batting title in 1940, hitting .355 for the Pittsburgh Pirates despite having played in only 103 games and garnering 358 at bats. Garms' batting title proved very controversial because of his limited playing time. In 1941 he set a then-major league record for consecutive pinch hits with seven, which stood until Dave Philley broke it in 1958.
Louis Klopsche Finney was an American professional baseball player. He spent fifteen seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) playing for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Browns (1945–46), and Philadelphia Phillies (1947) as an outfielder and first baseman.
Joseph Emil Bowman was an American professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Athletics, New York Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, and Cincinnati Reds.
Donnie Lamont Sadler is a former right-handed Major League Baseball utility player. An alumnus of Valley Mills High School in Valley Mills, Texas, Sadler is small in stature, standing at only 5'6" tall and weighing 175 pounds. His cousin, Ray Sadler, is an outfielder in the Tampa Bay Rays organization.
Harold Edward Wagner was an American professional baseball player who was a catcher in Major League Baseball from 1937 to 1949, playing a total of 672 games for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Philadelphia Phillies. Born in East Riverton, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia, Wagner batted left-handed, threw right-handed, and was listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m), 165 lb (75 kg). Altogether, Wagner hit for a .248 average with 15 home runs and 228 RBI, and had a .981 fielding percentage, during his major league career.
James Albert Ripple was an American professional baseball player who played as an outfielder in Major League Baseball for seven seasons from 1936 to 1943. He played for the New York Giants (1936–1939), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1939–1940), the Cincinnati Reds (1940–1941), and the Philadelphia Athletics (1943). He had a .282 career batting average, with 28 home runs and 251 RBIs in 554 games played. He played in three World Series, two with the Giants (1936–1937), and one with the Reds in 1940, which won the championship.
Colonel Buster Mills was an American outfielder, coach, scout and interim manager in Major League Baseball. A native of Ranger, Texas, in his playing days, he stood 5 ft 11 1⁄2 in (1.82 m) (181.6 cm) tall, weighed 195 pounds (88.5 kg), and threw and batted righthanded.
Robert Slerling Detweiler [Ducky] was an American professional baseball infielder and manager. Listed at 5' 11", 178 lb., he batted and threw right handed.
William Mallory Bagwell, nicknamed "Big Bill", was a pinch hitter and left fielder in Major League Baseball. He played for the Boston Braves and Philadelphia Athletics during the 1920s. Bagwell was 6 feet, 1 inch tall and weighed 175 pounds.
David Alexander Liddell is a former Major League Baseball catcher. He caught one game for the New York Mets in 1990. He hit a single in his only Major League at bat, on June 3, 1990, giving him a lifetime batting average of 1.000. His Major League slugging percentage and on-base percentage are also 1.000. His at bat came in the 8th inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies as a pinch hitter for Mets' catcher Mackey Sasser against pitcher Pat Combs. His hit came on the only Major League pitch he ever faced; author George Rose estimates that his Major League career as a hitter thus lasted only about 20 seconds. He scored a run later in the inning. He also caught one inning with one putout for a lifetime fielding percentage of 1.000. After the 1990 season, he was signed by the Cincinnati Reds as a free agent, but he never played in the Reds' system.