Hallahan, Bill – Good Reason to be Called “Wild Bill”


Debut April 16, 1925

William Anthony Hallahan was born August 4, 1902. He became a left-handed pitcher in the major leagues in 1925. His nickname was “Wild Bill” due to his lack of control while pitching. He led the league in base on balls twice in his career.

He labored for a few seasons until 1930 when he won 15 games for the Cardinals. He pitched 13 complete games and sported a 4.66 ERA that season. However, he walked 126 batters and fanned 177 for the year.

In 1931, his record was 19-9 with a 3.29 ERA with and he led the league with 112 base on balls and 159 strike outs. He led the league with 11 wild pitches in 1930 and 1931.

He also was the starting pitcher for the National League in the first All-Star Game in 1933, losing a 4–2 decision to Lefty Gomez of the American League and surrendering a third-inning home run to Babe Ruth in the process.

After two more winning campaigns for non-contending Cardinal clubs, Hallahan won only eight games, losing 12, for the 1934 edition. But the Gashouse Gang won the National League title and gave Hallahan one more chance to experience the big stage. In Game 2 of the 1934 World Series, against the Detroit Tigers, Hallahan started against Detroit ace Schoolboy Rowe and left with one out in the eighth inning of a 2–2 tie. Detroit won the game in the ninth, 3–2, but overall the Cardinals again prevailed in seven games.

Altogether, in seven World Series games and 39⅓ innings, Hallahan won three games, lost one with an earned-run average of 1.36—still, in 2014, one of the ten lowest (and best) ERAs ever recorded by a pitcher in the postseason (which now includes divisional and championship series playoffs).

On May 31, 1936, he was sold to Cincinnati and watched his numbers go lower, In his last two seasons, he was 4-17.

He finished with a regular-season record (10 years) of 102 victories and 94 defeats, 856 strikeouts and 779 walks, and an ERA of 4.03 in 1,740 innings pitched and 56 wild pitches.