Billy Murray (baseball)
April 13, 1864|
|Died: March 25, 1937
|April 11, 1907 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
Last MLB appearance
|October 7, 1909 for the Philadelphia Phillies|
William Jeremiah Murray (April 13, 1864 — March 25, 1937) was one of the most successful managers in American minor league baseball during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He also spent three seasons (1907–1909) in Major League Baseball as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies of the National League.
A native of Peabody, Massachusetts, Murray began his minor league managing career at age 25 with the Quincy, Illinois, Ravens of the Central Interstate League in 1889. After winning back-to-back pennants at Quincy and Joliet of the Illinois-Iowa League in 1891–1892, Murray spent nine seasons (1894–1902) as skipper of the Providence Grays of the top-level Eastern League (a forerunner of today's International League). He then spent four winning seasons as field boss of the Jersey City Skeeters of the Eastern circuit, taking one league pennant. His record as a minor league manager was 1,234 victories and 876 defeats over 18 seasons, a winning percentage of .585, one of the highest among longtime minor league managers.
Murray then took the helm of the Phillies in 1907, inheriting a fourth-place team that had won only 71 games during 1906. Murray promptly led the Phils to 83 victories and a third-place finish in '07, but his club finished 21½ games in arrears of the league champion Chicago Cubs. His 1908 club also won 83 games, but fell to fourth, 16 games behind Chicago. When the 1909 Phillies tumbled even further, to 74 wins and a fifth place finish, 36½ games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates, Murray was replaced as manager by Red Dooin. His career record as a Major-League pilot was 240–214 (.529).
He died in Youngstown, Ohio, at the age of 72.
- Bucek, Jeanine, ed. dir., The Baseball Encyclopedia. New York: Macmillan Books, 1996.
- Johnson, Lloyd, ed., The Minor League Register. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1994.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference (Minors)