October 21, 1916|
|Died: October 26, 1991
|May 12, 1944, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1947, for the New York Yankees|
|Earned run average||3.08|
|Career highlights and awards|
Floyd Clifford "Bill" Bevens (October 21, 1916 – October 26, 1991) was a right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher. He stood 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) and weighed 210 lb (95 kg). He signed with the New York Yankees at 20 in 1937, and spent seven seasons in their minor league system, throwing two no-hitters for the Wenatchee Chiefs before finally making his major league debut with the Yankees on May 12, 1944 at the age of 27.
In his third minor league season, he pitched his first no-hitter on September 21, 1939, against the Tacoma Tigers, winning 8-0 with the only opposing baserunner reaching on an error, giving his Wenatchee Chiefs their first playoff win after losing the first three games of the series to Tacoma.
He pitched four years for the Yanks when they finally brought him up to the majors, amassing a career record of 40–36 with a 3.08 ERA. His best year was 1946, when he went 16–13 and 2.23. Although in the regular 1947 season, his last year in the majors, he won only seven and lost 13, in the World Series that year he held the Brooklyn Dodgers to one hit in 8 2/3 innings in one of the most memorable games in baseball history (see "The Cookie Game").
For 8 2⁄3 innings in Game 4 of the 1947 World Series Bevens had held the Dodgers hitless despite giving up a Series record ten walks. The Yankees were nursing a 2–1 lead. With one out to go for the first no-hitter in Series history, he walked right fielder Carl Furillo and then (intentionally) pinch-hitter Pete Reiser. Dodger manager Burt Shotton sent in Al Gionfriddo to pinch-run for Furillo and Eddie Miksis for the injury-slowed Reiser, and aging Cookie Lavagetto to pinch-hit for leadoff man Eddie Stanky. With two outs and two on in the bottom of the ninth, Lavagetto swung and missed for strike one but then on Bevens' second (and last) pitch lined a double off the right field wall scoring both runners and winning the game for the Dodgers 3-2 with their only hit.
What became known as "the Cookie game" was played on October 3, 1947 and evened the Series at 2–2. On October 6, Bevens returned to the mound for 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in the deciding Game 7, winning the world championship for the Yanks. It was the last major league game for the thirty-year-old Bevens.
"I do not use anything odd or unorthodox. I have a sinker, but it is a natural delivery. Fast ball, curve, change, and change in speeds. That is my repertoire." – Bill Bevens in Baseball Magazine (June 1947, Daniel M. Daniel)
He eventually landed another major league job with the Cincinnati Reds in 1952, but was sold to the Triple-A Pacific Coast League San Francisco Seals before he could see any action for the Reds.
- via United Press International. Bevans Hurls No-No Game for Wenatchee", Eugene Register-Guard, September 21, 1939. Accessed June 24, 2009 (note the misspelling of Bevens' surname in the article).
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Sporting News' Baseball's 25 Greatest Moments: Cookie Crumbles Bevens
- Audio - Bill Bevens describes his lost no-hit bid
- Audio - Cookie Lavagetto breaks up Bill Bevens' No-Hit Bid in 1947 World Series
- Bill Bevens at Find a Grave