Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0906
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Full Text of HR0906  102nd General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, The members of the Illinois House of
3Representatives wish to recognize the life, achievements,
4prosperous career, and Hall of Fame-worthy credentials of
5Walter William "Billy" Pierce; and
6    WHEREAS, Billy Pierce began his career at age 18 with the
7Detroit Tigers in 1945 and then played for the Chicago White
8Sox from 1949 to 1961 before playing his final three seasons
9with the San Francisco Giants; and
10    WHEREAS, Billy Pierce was the Chicago White Sox's star
11pitcher in the decade from 1952 to 1961 when they posted the
12third best record in the Major Leagues; by the mid-1950s, the
13small southpaw stylist, equipped with a pitching bag of tricks
14that included a devastating fastball, a sharp-breaking curve,
15a slider, and a change up, was being talked about as one of the
16top lefties in the sport; and
17    WHEREAS, A seven-time All-Star, Billy Pierce led the
18American League in complete games three times and led the
19American League in wins, earned run average, and strikeouts
20once each; he pitched four one-hitters and seven two-hitters
21in his career and, on June 27, 1958, came within one batter of
22becoming the first left-hander in 78 years to throw a perfect



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1game; and
2    WHEREAS, After 14 years on Chicago's South Side, Billy
3Pierce was traded to the San Francisco Giants on November 30,
41961; with something to prove, he finished 16 and 6 in his
5first season on the West Coast, helping the Giants franchise
6capture its first pennant since moving to California; he
7retired after an 18-year big league career with a 211 and 169
8record, 1,999 strikeouts, 193 complete games, 38 shutouts, and
9a 3.27 ERA; and
10    WHEREAS, In the discussion of the best pitchers in White
11Sox history, Billy Pierce tops the franchise's all-time list
12with 1,796 strikeouts, and his 186 wins are fourth behind Hall
13of Famers Ted Lyons (260), Red Faber (254), and Ed Walsh (195);
15    WHEREAS, The White Sox retired Billy Pierce's number 19 in
161987 and unveiled a statue in his honor at U.S. Cellular Field
17in 2007; he was selected to the White Sox All-Century Team in
182000; and
19    WHEREAS, Billy Pierce's 1,999 career strikeouts were the
20fifth most by a left-hander when he retired, and his American
21League total of 1,842 ranked ninth in league history; he also
22ranked tenth among left-handers in career wins (211), sixth in



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1games started (432) and games pitched (585), eighth in
2shutouts (38), and ninth in innings pitched (3,306+2/3),
3placing him in the top 20 of left-handed starting pitchers in
4Major League history; and
5    WHEREAS, Billy Pierce's statistics in Innings Pitched,
6ERA, ERA+, Career Wins, Walks/Hits per Innings Pitched, and
7Career Strikeouts, among others, compare favorably and, in
8some cases, exceed those of contemporaries such as Early Wynn,
9Bob Lemon, Robin Roberts, and Whitey Ford, all of whom have
10been enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame; and
11    WHEREAS, Rule 5 of the Baseball Writers Association of
12America rules for eligibility provides that eligibility for
13membership shall be based not only upon the player's record,
14playing ability, and contributions to the team(s) on which the
15player played but also on his integrity, sportsmanship, and
16character; and
17    WHEREAS, Billy Pierce's contributions to society off the
18field were as significant as those on it, as witnessed by his
19many public acts, such as raising millions of dollars through
20Northwestern University's Cancer Research Charity for
21Children, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the Chicago
22Baseball Cancer Charities, as well as serving as a White Sox
23ambassador visiting children and retirement homes; and



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1    WHEREAS, Despite possessing comparable statistics to
2players of his era who are members of the National Baseball
3Hall of Fame in addition to his sterling reputation, Billy
4Pierce remains on the waiting list to be called to membership
5in the Hall; therefore, be it
8we recognize Walter William "Billy" Pierce on his
9accomplishments and accolades achieved throughout his life;
10and be it further
11    RESOLVED, That Billy Pierce is deserving of the honor and
12recognition that accrues to those whose names are called to
13membership in the National Baseball Hall of Fame; and be it
15    RESOLVED, That we urge the National Baseball Hall of Fame
16Golden Days Era committee to vote to enshrine Billy Pierce to
17his rightful place as a member of the National Baseball Hall of
18Fame; and be it further
19    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
20presented to the family of Billy Pierce and the Chairman of the
21Board of Directors of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and



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