Bill Bruton

“Bill Bruton was arguably the fastest man in professional baseball in the 1950s.” link
  • Tigers’ center fielder, 1961-64
  • First African American to be a regular starter in the outfield for the Tigers
  • World champion with the Milwaukee Braves in 1958
  • 3-time National League stolen base leader, 1953–1955, with Milwaukee
  • One of three players in major league history to hit 2 bases-loaded triples in one game, with Milwaukee in 1959
  • After retirement, spent over two decades as an executive at Chrysler’s Detroit headquarters, eventually working as special assistant to Chrysler president Lee Iacocca
  • Inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame in 1991
Quotes

“Blessed with speed and quickness, Bill Bruton was arguably the fastest man in professional baseball in the 1950s. While prowling center field, he could race back for well-hit long balls and charge in to scoop up potential Texas Leaguers. When batting, he used his speed to intimidate opponents into making throwing and fielding mistakes. He added the important element of speed to the powerful Milwaukee Braves teams of the 1950s.”

— John Stahl, SABR Bio Project [link]

“He was like a father to everyone, a cornerstone for all the black players on the team.”

— Hank Aaron, Milwaukee teammate [link]

“He was the best son-of-a-gun to ever put on spikes.”

— Eddie Mathews, Milwaukee teammate [link]

Resources

• Bill Bruton bio from the SABR Bio Project

• Bill Bruton career stats from Baseball Reference

• Bill Bruton entry from Wikipedia

Highlights