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Encyclopedia > Bill Terry

William Harold Terry (October 30, 1898 _ January 9, 1989) was a Major League Baseball first baseman and manager. Nicknamed "Memphis Bill", he is most remember for being the last National League player to hit .400, a feat he accomplished by batting .401 in 1930.


Born in Atlanta, Georgia, Terry made his major league debut in 1923 with the New York Giants and played his first full season in 1925 when he hit .319. Playing his entire career with the Giants before retiring in 1936, Terry posted seven seasons with 100 or more runs, six seasons with 100 or more RBI, six seasons with at least 200 hits, and nine consecutive seasons batting .320 or higher, from 1927 through 1935. He also showed some pop, posting three seasons with at least 20 home runs, including a career high of 28 in 1932.


Arguably Terry's finest season - and certainly his most historic - was 1930 when he scored 139 runs, hit 23 home runs, had 129 RBI and hit .401. He remains the last National League player to have hit .400 or higher (the feat has been more recently accomplished by Ted Williams in the American League). Terry retired with 1120 runs scored, 154 home runs, 1078 RBI and a .341 batting average.


In 1932, Terry also took over managerial duties from John McGraw. He managed the Giants long after he finished playing, compiling 823 wins and 661 losses before retiring in 1941. He led the Giants to three National League pennants (1933, 1936 and 1937) and one World Series championship (1933).


Terry was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1954.


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  Results from FactBites:
 
Bill Terry (287 words)
Terry was the National League's MVP in 1930 and retired with an average of.341 — a modern National League record for left-handed batters.
Terry was 26 before he came to the ML and then had to move future Hall of Famer George Kelly off first to play regularly for the Giants.
Terry showed no bitterness that his election was so long delayed and became a regular participant in the annual induction ceremonies for many years.
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