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Bill Glynn

Sport: Baseball

Born: July 30, 1925

Died: January 15, 2013

Town: Sussex

William Vincent Glynn was born July 30, 1925 in Sussex. A tremendous all-around athlete, Bill starred for Franklin High School as a basketball forward, football running back and slugging first baseman. He entered the Army after graduation and served in Italy during World War II. During breaks in the action, Bill drew attention with his prodigious clouts in company baseball games.

Bill signed with the Phillies after the war and continued his torrid hitting in the minors and made himself into a plus defender at first base. As he rose in the minors, his power decreased and he became more of a line drive hitter. Bill had a cup of coffee with the team in 1949. In his first at bat he struck out looking and was tossed by the umpire for arguing the call.

Bill reemerged in the majors three years later with the Cleveland Indians. He batted .272 as Luke Easter’s backup. Bill became the starter in 1953 after Easter fractured his ankle in an April game. The Tribe considered converting Bill into an outfielder so they could play both men when Easter returned, but the experiment didn’t pay off. Bill finished the year batting .243 with 3 homers and 30 RBIs. He was a popular teammate, keeping things loose with his hilarious soliloquies as a punch-drunk boxer. His nickname was Willie McPug.

In 1954, Bill won the starting job on opening day and was leading the AL in hitting in the second week of the season. The Indians wanted more power out of the position, however, and on June 1 they traded for slugger Vic Wertz. Bill saw most of his playing time against running teams like the White Sox, where infield defense was at a premium.

On July 5th, Bill started the first game of a double dip against the Tigers. In the third inning he hit a grand slam. In the fifth inning he blasted a two-run homer. Two innings later, he cleared the right field fence with a solo shot. Bill came up again in the eighth with the bases loaded. He crushed a long drive to the deepest part of Briggs Stadium, but it landed in Bill Tuttle’s glove some 440 feet away. The man on third tagged and scored for Bill’s eighth RBI of the day. He finished the season with 5 home runs and 18 RBIs.

The Indians cruised to the pennant but were upended by the Giants in a World Series sweep. Bill pinch-hit twice, striking out in Game One and doubling in Game Three. It would turn out to be his final at bat as a major leaguer. He played in the minors four more years before retiring. He got into the dairy business in Southern California, rising to the position of supervisor, and became a big fan of the Padres when they joined the NL in 1969. He was inducted into the Sussex County Sports Hall of Fame in 1976.

Bill passed away in 2013 at the age of 87 in San Diego.


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