Bill Donovan

  • Card series: Pilgrims
  • City: Detroit
  • Team: Tigers
  • League: American League

William Edward Donovan (1876-1923) paid a $10 fine for earning his nickname, awarded after walking 9 straight for his minor league Hartford team. He went on to a fine ML career over 18 years with 4 clubs as player & manager. He emerged from Brooklyn’s bullpen obscurity to compile a 25-15, 2.77 ERA record in 1901 & really came into his own with the Tigers from ’03-12. He led his team & the AL with a 25-4 mark in ’07, still the franchise’s best winning %. Like his Detroit mates, Donovan struggled in his World Series opportunities, going 1-4 & earning the dubious distinction of losing two straight finales in ’08 and ’09. Until his arm gave out in ’12, Donovan was a consistent closer & still ranks 50th all-time in complete games.

  • Donovan stayed in baseball as manager of the New Haven Profs in the EL. He was en route to Chicago for winter meetings when he died in a train wreck of the 20th Century Limited
  • Lifetime: 378 games, 186 Ws with 289 completed & a 2.69 ERA

Auction History


T201 Mecca Canvas: Wild Bill Donovan