Bill Pierre

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Bill Pierre

William Anthony Pierre Sr (born June 25, 1889 in Mobile, Mobile County; died January 13, 1973) was a Minor League baseball catcher and manager and a Major League scout. He briefly managed the Birmingham Barons during the 1935 season.

Pierre was the son of John Nicholas and Mary Agnes Riva Pierre of Mobile. He began his professional playing career in 1913 with the Valdosta Millionaires of the Empire State League. He played for several teams in the Georgia State League through 1916. He was playing for the Tifton Tifters of the Dixie League in 1917 before moving back to Alabama as player-manager for the Anniston Moulders of the Georgia-Alabama League. That league went defunct in late May of that season. He resumed managing in Lakeland, Florida and Augusta, Georgia before joining the High Point Furniture Makers of the Piedmont League for two seasons in 1920 and 1921.

Pierre played for the 1922 Buffalo Bisons of the International League, then spent the next season with Greensboro in the Piedmont League. In 1924 he was on the roster as a player-manager for the Durham Bulls, also of the Piedmont League. For 1926 and part of 1927 he managed and played for the Alexandria Reds in the Cotton States League. After he was replaced by Nig Leonard, he took over as player-manager for the Montgomery Lions for the rest of that season and all of 1928, where he won his only championship in the 8-team Southeastern League. His last season as a player was with Baton Rouge Essos of the Cotton States League in 1929. He managed the Huntsville Springers of the re-established Georgia-Alabama League in 1930.

Pierre filled in as manager of the 1935 Birmingham Barons after the departure of Clyde Milan. He was succeeded by Bill Hughes before the end of the season.

As a scout for the New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, Detroit Tigers, St Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees, Pierre settled down in Birmingham. He is credited with signing John Baumgartner, Ray Berres, Frank Bolling, Don Bryant, Ben Chapman, Frank House, Frank Lary, Whitey Lockman, Bobo Osborne, LeGrant Scott, Walt Streuli, Coot Veal, and Dixie Walker.

In December 1961 Pierre wrote to Birmingham City Commissioner Bull Connor to express his support for the city's decision to close city parks rather than follow Judge Hobart Grooms' order to integrate them.

Pierre died in 1973. His funeral mass was conducted at St Pius Catholic Church, and he is buried at Mobile's Pine Crest Cemetery.

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