One of the best pitchers in baseball from the early 1950’s well into the 1960’s, Pierce won 211 games in a big league career that spanned from 1945-1964. He came up in 1945 as an 18-year old, but pitched in just five games before spending the next two seasons back in the minor leagues. Pierce was up for good in 1948 and by 1950 he’d begun a string of success that saw him win 10 or more games in 12 of the next 13 seasons. A seven-time all star, Pierce made his first All-Star Game appearance in 1953, a year that saw him go 18-12 with a 2.72 ERA. He was 20-9 in 1956 and he led the league in complete games as well with 21. Pierce led the American League in wins the following year with a 20-12 mark while pitching a league-best 16 complete games. He joined the San Francisco Giants in 1962 and won 16 games as he helped them reach the World Series. He finished third in the National League Cy Young voting that year.
Pierce threw three innings of shoutout baseball in the 1953 All-Star Game. He allowed one hit and struck out one batter. He did not figure in the decision. He pitched in the 1959 World Series for the White Sox. He was not on the winning side in either World Series he played in. He is the last man to lead the American League in complete games three seasons in a row. He was a member of the White Sox All-Century Team and his number 19 is retired by the team. Pierce died in Palos Heights, Illinois on July 31, 2015.
Billy Pierce – career stats