Bill James

  • Card series: Diamond Heads '15
  • City: Boston
  • Team: Braves
  • League: National League

William Lawrence James (1892-1971) had a season for the ages in 1914. His woeful Boston Braves hadn’t seen a winning campaign in over a decade and for years had been trapped in the all-too-public hell reserved for teams that can’t get within 50 games of the leaders. No one could have imagined the year that followed James’ rookie season where he had gone 6-10. No one to this day can completely fathom the wonder that became the “Miracle Braves.” The lowliest of teams won it all, pennant and Series. And Seattle Bill James eclipsed his fellow ace Dick Rudolph. His sophomore year produced a 26-7 record, .788 winning percentage, 1.90 ERA with 156 strikeouts in 332 innings. He won two Fall Classic games in three days. He was on fire. Yet, he lacked the fire in the belly that might have led to a great career. He tired of the travel rigors, complaining of it as “hard and disagreeable work.” After winning 32 games in two years, he and his brilliant arm were done. He soon returned to the west coast for minor league assignments, a stint in the wartime infantry and retirement.

  • James was stunning with the Seattle Giants in 1912, winning 29 and a ticket to Beantown

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