April 24, 1944 |
Los Angeles, California
|September 24, 1964, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 16, 1977, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Earned run average||3.39|
|Career highlights and awards|
William Robert Singer (born April 24, 1944) is an American former professional baseball pitcher with a 14-year career from 1964 to 1977. He played primarily for the Los Angeles Dodgers (1964–72) and the California Angels (1973–75), spending his final two seasons with the Texas Rangers (1976), Minnesota Twins (1976), and Toronto Blue Jays (1977). His nicknames included "Sing Sing," "Billy No-No" and "The Singer Throwing Machine."
Major League career
Los Angeles Dodgers
Singer made his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 24, 1964, allowing one run in 6.1 innings in a start against the Chicago Cubs, as he had a no-decision in a 4-3 loss at Wrigley Field. Singer made one more start in 1964, allowing 4 runs in 7.2 innings in a 4-3 loss to the Cubs at Dodger Stadium.
During the next two seasons, Singer saw very little action with the Dodgers, pitching five innings in five games, as he spent most of his time in the minor leagues.
He had his first full season in Los Angeles in 1967, as Singer had an impressive 12-8 record with a 2.64 ERA in 32 games, 29 of them starts. In 1968, Singer had a very solid ERA of 2.88, however, he had a losing record of 13-17.
Singer had a breakout season in 1969, tying with Claude Osteen with a club high 20 wins, as he had a 20-12 record with a club best 2.34 ERA. Singer played in the 1969 Major League Baseball All-Star Game held at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., pitching two scoreless innings in the National League's 9-3 win. That year Singer also became the first pitcher to be officially credited with a save. The statistic was made official in 1969, and Singer recorded his on April 7, when he took over from Don Drysdale and secured a 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field.
He ran into injury problems in 1970, making only 16 starts, but had a record of 8-5 with a 3.13 ERA. After contracting mononucleosis early in the season, he made a great comeback, being named the NL Player of the Month for July as he had a 5-0 record with a 1.84 ERA. On the 20th of that month, he no-hit the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 at Dodger Stadium. His season ended when he broke a finger.
Singer was the Dodgers opening day starter in 1971, however he struggled throughout the season, with a 10-17 record and a 4.16 ERA. He continued to struggle throughout the 1972 season, going only 6-16 with a 3.67 ERA.
Singer had a very strong 1973 season with the Angels, tying a career high with 20 wins, as he was 20-14 with a 3.22 ERA in 40 starts. Singer played in the 1973 Major League Baseball All-Star Game held at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, where he allowed three runs in two innings as the American League lost 7-1.
Singer's season was shortened by back problems in 1974. He made 14 starts, earning a 7-4 record with a 2.98 ERA. He struggled in the 1975 season, going 7-15 with a 4.98 ERA.
Texas Rangers and Minnesota Twins
Singer began the 1976 in Texas, and pitched well with them, going 4-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 10 starts. On June 1, 1976, the Rangers traded Singer, Mike Cubbage, Jim Gideon, Roy Smalley and $250,000 to the Minnesota Twins for Bert Blyleven and Danny Thompson.
He finished the 1976 season with the Twins, making 26 starts, and finishing with a 9-9 record and a 3.77 ERA in Minnesota. On November 5, 1976, the Toronto Blue Jays drafted Singer in the 1976 MLB Expansion Draft with the 28th overall selection.
Toronto Blue Jays
As a previous 20-game winner, Singer was one of the focal points of the Blue Jays initial marketing campaign, and was named the opening day starter for the expansion Jays in 1977. He was a disappointment, giving up 11 hits and 3 walks in 4.1 innings, and garnering a no-decision in Toronto's 9-5 win over the Chicago White Sox on a snowy afternoon at Exhibition Stadium. Singer continued to perform ineffectively in Toronto as he had run into injury problems, spending six weeks on the disabled list in June in July. After returning to the rotation on July 13, Singer pitched poorly again in a loss, and was subsequently moved to the bullpen, where he again pitched poorly in one game of mop-up relief in an 11-3 loss. Following this, Singer was shut down for the rest of the season—and it would turn out for his career, as Singer never again pitched in the major or minor leagues. He finished the 1977 season 2-8 with a 6.79 ERA.
Singer would miss the entire 1978 season and was released from the Blue Jays on December 2, 1978. Singer would then retire, finishing his career with a 118-127 record, a 3.39 ERA and 1515 strikeouts.
Racial remarks controversy
In 2003, he was terminated from his position as special assistant to General Manager Jim Duquette of the New York Mets following racially insensitive remarks made to Dodgers assistant general manager Kim Ng in which he mocked Ng's Chinese heritage. As widely reported by ESPN and the Los Angeles Times the exchange went as follows:
Singer: What are you doing here?
Ng: I'm working.
Singer: What are you doing here?
Ng: I'm working. I'm the Dodger assistant general manager.
Singer: Where are you from?
Ng: I was born in Indiana and grew up in New York.
Singer: Where are you from?
Ng: My family's from China.
Singer: Nonsensically mock Chinese, then "What country in China?"
He was later hired by the Arizona Diamondbacks as a Major League scout in February 2005, with the Diamondbacks GM Joe Garagiola Jr stating "We satisfied ourselves by talking to him, to other people about him and doing a thorough background check." In November 2006, he was added to the Washington Nationals' scouting roster where he coordinates scouting operations in Asia.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Baseball Library
July 20, 1970
|Major League Player of the Month
|Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day
|Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day