Billy Sullivan Stats

Billy Sullivan was born on Monday, February 1, 1875, in Oakland, Wisconsin. Sullivan was 24 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 13, 1899, with the Boston Beaneaters. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Billy Sullivan baseball stats page.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Though 'never very strong in stick work,' his Deadball Era contemporaries believed that Billy Sullivan's 'brilliant performances behind the bat ... more than offset his weak hitting.' Although his paltry .213 lifetime batting average is the second worst all-time (next to Bill Bergen ) among players with at least 3,000 at bats, Sullivan developed a reputation as a brainy backstop with an uncanny ability to handle pitchers. Described by Ty Cobb as the best catcher 'ever to wear shoe leather,' Sullivan was 'the best man throwing to bases in the American League,' and 'no man in the business [knew] more about getting the best work from a pitcher and holding an infield together.' Sullivan also revolutionized the way his position was played; he is credited as the first catcher to position himself directly behind the batter and as the inventor of an inflatable chest protector." - Baseball Historian Trey Strecker (SABR Baseball Biography Project, Billy Sullivan, Source )

Billy Sullivan


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Birth Name:
William Joseph Sullivan
Nickname:
Billy
Born On:
02-01-1875  (Aquarius)
Place of Birth Data Born In:
Oakland, Wisconsin
Year of Death Data Died On:
01-28-1965 ( 500 Oldest Living )
Place of Death Data Died In:
Newberg, Oregon
Cemetery:
St. James Catholic Cemetery, McMinnville, Oregon
High School:
Fort Atkinson High School (Fort Atkinson, WI)
College:
None Attended
Batting Stances Chart Bats:
Right
Throwing Arms Chart Throws:
Right
Player Height Chart Height:
5-09
Player Weight Chart Weight:
155
First Game:
09-13-1899 (Age 24)
Last Game:
04-15-1916
Draft:
Not Applicable

Billy Sullivan

Billy Sullivan Pitching Stats

- - Did Not Pitch - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Billy Sullivan

Billy Sullivan Hitting Stats

1899 24 Beaneaters 22 74 10 20 2 0 2 0 12 1 - 8 0 - 3 - .270 .308 .378
1900 25 Beaneaters 72 238 36 65 6 0 8 0 41 9 - 33 3 - 1 - .273 .302 .399
1901 26 White Stockings 98 367 54 90 15 6 4 0 56 10 - 38 13 - 3 - .245 .271 .351
1902 27 White Stockings 76 263 36 64 12 3 1 0 26 6 - 32 8 - 3 - .243 .268 .323
1903 28 White Stockings 32 111 10 21 4 0 1 0 7 5 - 13 2 - 0 - .189 .224 .252
1904 29 White Sox 108 371 29 85 18 4 1 0 44 12 - 50 11 - 1 - .229 .255 .307
1905 30 White Sox 98 323 25 65 10 3 2 0 26 13 - 54 10 - 3 - .201 .239 .269
1906 31 White Sox 118 387 37 83 18 4 2 0 33 22 - 67 20 - 3 - .214 .262 .297
1907 32 White Sox 112 329 30 59 8 4 0 0 36 21 - 69 10 - 3 - .179 .235 .228
1908 33 White Sox 137 430 40 82 8 4 0 0 29 22 - 62 21 - 3 - .191 .235 .228
1909 34 White Sox 97 265 11 43 3 0 0 0 16 17 - 50 15 - 5 - .162 .226 .174
1910 35 White Sox 45 142 10 26 4 1 0 0 6 7 - 26 1 - 1 - .183 .227 .225
1911 36 White Sox 89 256 26 55 9 3 0 0 31 16 - 47 11 - 2 - .215 .266 .273
1912 37 White Sox 41 91 9 19 2 1 0 0 15 9 - 16 7 - 1 - .209 .287 .253
1914 39 White Sox 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 - .000 .000 .000
1916 41 Tigers 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 - 0 0 - 0 - .000 .000 .000
16 Years 1,147 3,647 363 777 119 33 21 0 378 170 - 565 132 - 32 - .213 .254 .281

Billy Sullivan

Billy Sullivan Fielding Stats

1899 Beaneaters C 22 - - 126 5.7 120 94 26 6 3 6 - - .952 0.00
1900 Beaneaters 2B 1 - - 6 6.0 6 3 3 0 1 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.00
1900 Beaneaters C 66 - - 306 4.6 298 227 71 8 10 21 - - .974 0.00
1900 Beaneaters SS 1 - - 6 6.0 5 2 3 1 0 n/a n/a n/a .833 0.00
1901 White Stockings 3B 1 - - 2 2.0 0 0 0 2 0 n/a n/a n/a .000 0.00
1901 White Stockings C 97 - - 517 5.3 500 396 104 17 13 13 - - .967 0.00
1902 White Stockings 1B 2 - - 11 5.5 11 11 0 0 2 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.00
1902 White Stockings C 70 - - 334 4.8 323 242 81 11 8 10 - - .967 0.00
1902 White Stockings OF 2 - - 1 0.5 1 1 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.00
1903 White Stockings C 31 - - 160 5.2 158 123 35 2 1 8 - - .988 0.00
1904 White Sox C 107 - - 615 5.7 593 463 130 22 10 10 10 - .964 0.00
1905 White Sox 1B 2 - - 15 7.5 15 15 0 0 2 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.00
1905 White Sox 3B 1 - - 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a .000 0.00
1905 White Sox C 92 - - 506 5.5 493 389 104 13 8 10 - - .974 0.00
1906 White Sox C 118 - - 625 5.3 609 475 134 16 7 11 - - .974 0.00
1907 White Sox 2B 1 - - 4 4.0 4 2 2 0 1 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.00
1907 White Sox C 108 - - 604 5.6 594 477 117 10 12 11 - - .983 0.00
1908 White Sox C 137 - - 720 5.3 709 553 156 11 11 9 - - .985 0.00
1909 White Sox C 97 - - 581 6.0 571 452 119 10 6 10 - - .983 0.00
1910 White Sox C 45 - - 370 8.2 361 290 71 9 5 7 - - .976 0.00
1911 White Sox C 89 - - 569 6.4 561 447 114 8 13 13 - - .986 0.00
1912 White Sox C 41 - - 204 5.0 199 147 52 5 4 1 - - .975 0.00
1914 White Sox C 1 - - 1 1.0 1 1 0 0 0 0 - 1 1.000 0.00
1916 Tigers C 1 0 3 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 0.00
C Totals 1,122 0 3 6,238 5.6 6,090 4,776 1,314 148 111 140 10 1 .976 54.00
1B Totals 4 0 0 26 6.5 26 26 0 0 4 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.00
3B Totals 2 0 0 2 1.0 0 0 0 2 0 n/a n/a n/a .000 0.00
OF Totals 2 0 0 1 0.5 1 1 0 0 0 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.00
2B Totals 2 0 0 10 5.0 10 5 5 0 2 n/a n/a n/a 1.000 0.00
SS Totals 1 0 0 6 6.0 5 2 3 1 0 n/a n/a n/a .833 0.00
16 Years 1,133 0 3 6,283 5.5 6,132 4,810 1,322 151 117 140 10 1 .976 55,188.00

Billy Sullivan

Billy Sullivan Miscellaneous Stats

1899 Beaneaters 2 - - 0 0 n/a 37.0 9.3 6.2 - - -
1900 Beaneaters 4 - - 0 0 n/a 29.8 7.2 5.8 - - -
1901 White Stockings 12 - - 0 0 n/a 91.8 9.7 6.6 - - -
1902 White Stockings 11 - - 0 0 n/a 263.0 8.2 10.1 - - -
1903 White Stockings 3 - - 0 0 n/a 111.0 8.5 15.9 - - -
1904 White Sox 11 - - 0 0 n/a 371.0 7.4 8.4 - - -
1905 White Sox 14 - - 0 0 n/a 161.5 6.0 12.4 - - -
1906 White Sox 10 - - 0 0 n/a 193.5 5.8 11.7 - - -
1907 White Sox 6 - - 0 0 n/a 0.0 4.8 9.1 - - -
1908 White Sox 15 - - 0 0 n/a 0.0 6.9 14.8 - - -
1909 White Sox 9 - - 0 0 n/a 0.0 5.3 16.6 - - -
1910 White Sox 0 - - 0 0 n/a 0.0 5.5 23.7 - - -
1911 White Sox 1 - - 0 0 n/a 0.0 5.4 8.3 - - -
1912 White Sox 0 2 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 5.7 6.1 - - -
1914 White Sox 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 0.0 0.0 - - -
1916 Tigers 0 0 .000 0 0 n/a 0.0 0.0 0.0 - - -
16 Years 98 2 .980 0 0 n/a 173.7 6.5 9.6 - - -

Billy Sullivan

Billy Sullivan Miscellaneous Items of Interest

1899 Boston Beaneaters n/a Undetermined n/a n/a
1900 Boston Beaneaters n/a Undetermined n/a n/a
1901 Chicago White Stockings n/a $2,400.00 n/a n/a
1902 Chicago White Stockings n/a Undetermined n/a n/a
1903 Chicago White Stockings n/a Undetermined n/a -
1904 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a n/a
1905 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a -
1906 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a Stats
1907 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a -
1908 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a -
1909 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a -
1910 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a -
1911 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a -
1912 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a -
1914 Chicago White Sox n/a Undetermined n/a -
1916 Detroit Tigers n/a Undetermined n/a -
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Did you know that Billy Sullivan's son, Billy Sullivan (Jr.), was also a Major League catcher and when his son made it into the 1940 World Series the two backstops became the first father-son catchers to have played in a World Series ?

Did you know that Billy Sullivan was catching for the Chicago White Stockings ( White Sox ) on April 24, 1901, their first regular season game in franchise history ?

Billy Sullivan, Catcher in First White Sox Game Ever
First Chicago White Stockings Game | The Chicago Tribune | Page 6
In 1883 Francis Richter founded the Sporting Life, a weekly magazine devoted to coverage of all sports, with an emphasis on baseball. In 1887 Richter, and other baseball journalists, formed the Base Ball Reporters Association of America, also referred to as the National Base Ball Reporters' Association. And in 1914 Richter wrote the History and Records of Baseball: the American Nation's Chief Sport (Philadelphia: Sporting Life Publishing Co., 1914). In that historic book Richter selected the greatest players in each position in each decade:

Francis Richter Greatest Players by Decade

Decade Catchers Catchers
1870-1880 Doug Allison Deacon White
1880-1890 Charlie Bennett Buck Ewing
1890-1900 Tom Daly Yank Robinson
1900-1912 Chief Meyers Billy Sullivan
Decade Pitchers Pitchers
1870-1880 Candy Cummings Al Spalding
1880-1890 John Clarkson Old Hoss Radbourn
1890-1900 Amos Rusie Cy Young
1900-1912 Christy Mathewson Rube Waddell
Decade First Base First Base
1870-1880 Wes Fisler Joe Start
1880-1890 Cap Anson Charlie Comiskey
1890-1900 Jake Beckley Dan Brouthers
1900-1912 Hal Chase Fred Tenney
Decade Second Base Second Base
1870-1880 Ross Barnes Al Reach (NA Only)
1880-1890 Fred Dunlap Bid McPhee
1890-1900 Nap Lajoie Fred Pfeffer
1900-1912 Eddie Collins Johnny Evers
Decade Third Base Third Base
1870-1880 Cap Anson Ezra Sutton
1880-1890 Jerry Denny Denny Lyons
1890-1900 John McGraw Billy Nash
1900-1912 Home Run Baker Jimmy Collins
Decade Shortstops Shortstops
1870-1880 Davy Force George Wright
1880-1890 Monte Ward Ned Williamson
1890-1900 Hughie Jennings Herman Long
1900-1912 Honus Wagner Bobby Wallace
Decade Left Fielders Left Fielders
1870-1880 Andy Leonard Lip Pike
1880-1890 Tip O'Neill George Wood
1890-1900 Ed Delahanty Joe Kelley
1900-1912 Fred Clarke Chick Stahl
Decade Center Fielders Center Fielders
1870-1880 Count Sensenderfer (NA Only) Harry Wright
1880-1890 Ned Hanlon Hardy Richardson
1890-1900 Billy Hamilton Bill Lange
1900-1912 Ty Cobb Tris Speaker
Decade Right Fielders Right Fielders
1870-1880 Jack Chapman Cal McVey
1880-1890 Joe Kelley Sam Thompson
1890-1900 Jesse Burkett Mike Tiernan
1900-1912 Sam Crawford Willie Keeler

Billy Sullivan Baseball Card
Billy Sullivan | 1961 Fleer Baseball Card (#141) | Baseball Almanac Collection
On June 22, 1909, Billy Sullivan was issued U.S. Patent # 925,851 for an inflatable chest protector that included hinges—two baseball catcher chest protector improvements that allowed for more freedom of movement and better protection from injury.

Last-Modified: March 11, 2020 3:01 AM EST

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