Billy Cox (baseball)
Cox in 1953
|Third baseman / Shortstop|
|Born: August 29, 1919|
|Died: March 30, 1978 (aged 58)|
|September 20, 1941, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 11, 1955, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Runs batted in||351|
William Richard Cox (August 29, 1919 – March 30, 1978) was an American professional baseball third baseman and shortstop. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Baltimore Orioles.
He played for the Newport Buffaloes high school team. Signed as an amateur free agent by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1940, Cox made his MLB debut with the Pirates on September 20, 1941, playing in ten games at shortstop that season before serving in the military during World War II.
After returning to the Pirates, he was the starting shortstop in 1946 and 1947 before being traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers on December 8, 1947, along with Preacher Roe and Gene Mauch, for Dixie Walker, Hal Gregg and Vic Lombardi.
Cox was an infield starter (principally at third base) and leadoff hitter for the Baltimore Orioles for the first half of 1955, but after being pulled for a pinch runner on June 11, was traded at the trading deadline, June 16. Cox, however, would not report to his new team, the Cleveland Indians, reigning American League champions. Even after a meeting with Indians' manager Al López, Cox resolved to retire and did so on June 17. After Cox retired, the Orioles did not settle on a starting third baseman until Brooks Robinson won the job in 1957. The Orioles used 13 third basemen in 1955.
In 1058 games over 11 seasons, Cox posted a .262 batting average (974-for-3712) with 470 runs, 174 doubles, 32 triples, 66 home runs, 351 RBI, 42 stolen bases, .318 on-base percentage and .380 slugging percentage. He finished his career with a .962 fielding percentage playing primarily at third base and also at shortstop and second base. In 15 World Series games, he batted .302 (16-for-53) with 7 runs, 5 doubles, 1 home run, 6 RBI and 4 walks.
The youth baseball park on North Second Street in Newport, Pennsylvania, is named after Cox, and hosts River League games (independent Little League) as well as an annual Pete Howell Memorial tournament during the second week of July. Howell was the local district justice and long-time president of the Newport Baseball Association.
- Billy Cox Statistics and History at Baseball-Reference.com