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IdahoBert

Historic Tiger Baseball #13--Wild Bill Donovan

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Today's Featured Tiger Player

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--Wild Bill Donovan--

(1903-1912)

(click on name for statistics)

Donovan was durable, and needed to be; due to wildness, he threw more pitches than most hurlers. While he led the NL with 25 wins for Brooklyn in 1901, he also led with 152 walks. Wild Bill starred in both major leagues, jumping to Detroit in 1903. His best season (25-4, AL-high .862 winning percentage) turned the Tigers into pennant-winners in 1907, and they repeated in 1908 and '09. But Donovan's results in WS starts were poor, and he won only one of five decisions. Ty Cobb’s only early support concerning his fractious relations with team mates came from pitcher Wild Bill Donovan and a few others who urged him to "stick up for your rights. If it comes to a showdown, we'll back you up."

After going 10-9 in 1911, Donovan continued his career in the minor leagues, as a pitcher, coach, and manager. He piloted the Yankees from 1915 to 1917, appearing in several games, and pitched two final games for Detroit in 1918. He also skippered the Phillies for part of 1921. He was killed in a train wreck while riding in a sleeper. As manager of his minor league team, he had claimed a lower berth. Above him slept the business manager, George Weiss, who was uninjured in the wreck, and who became a Hall of Famer as GM of the Yankees and Mets.

http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/D/Donovan_Wild_Bill.stm

http://www.thedeadballera.com/Obits/Donovan.William.Obit.html

http://www.thedeadballera.com/GravePhotos/Donovan.WildBill.Grave.html

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[trim] He was killed in a train wreck while riding in a sleeper. As manager of his minor league team, he had claimed a lower berth. Above him slept the business manager, George Weiss, who was uninjured in the wreck, and who became a Hall of Famer as GM of the Yankees and Mets.

Seems so many died young in those days, and many more accidents than today. Glad I live now - I probably would have croaked several times by my current stage in life 100 years ago.

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I have been busy during the Holidays and have yet to click on any of Bert's "Historic Tiger Baseball" posts. This was the first one - great job Bert! I believe Donovan was the first Tiger to win 20 games. He had "star power" and was used in local and perhaps national advertising. I have an ad of him extolling the virtues of Absopure (bottled water) and may have a Coca-Cola ad featuring him as well.

:alien:

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I have been busy during the Holidays and have yet to click on any of Bert's "Historic Tiger Baseball" posts. This was the first one - great job Bert! I believe Donovan was the first Tiger to win 20 games. He had "star power" and was used in local and perhaps national advertising. I have an ad of him extolling the virtues of Absopure (bottled water) and may have a Coca-Cola ad featuring him as well.

:alien:

That is very cool. Thanks! If you can scan it and post it that would be cool. These threads are being archived in the Tigers History forum too.

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Seems so many died young in those days, and many more accidents than today. Glad I live now - I probably would have croaked several times by my current stage in life 100 years ago.
This is a great site for finding out about how players have died.

http://www.thedeadballera.com

This link on the site lists players who died young:

http://www.thedeadballera.com/tooyoung.html

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