I would like you to meet closer Bill Dailey
William (Bill) Garland Dailey was born on March 13, 1935 in Arlington, Virginia. The 6’3” and 185 pound Dailey, a right handed pitcher, signed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians in 1953 after graduating from high school. Dailey began his professional career in 1953 in class “C” ball with Sherbrooke and worked his way up the chain through Fargo-Moorhead, Keokuk, Mobile, San Diego, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City before finally get that call to the major leagues with the Cleveland Indians on August 17, 1961. Although he was primarily a starter in the minors, Bill never started a game in the major leagues, pitching all 119 of his games in relief. Bill pitched with Cleveland for parts of 1961 and 1962 before being sold to the Minnesota Twins in April of 1963.
Shortly after being acquired by the Twins, Bill Daily became the Twins closer and had an amazing year in 1963. That season, the 28 year old Bill Dailey appeared in 66 games, had a 6-3 record with 21 saves, pitched 108+ innings while striking out 72 and finished the season with an ERA of 1.99 and a 1.19 WHIP. He was so good in fact that a song was written about him by Bill McGrane of the Minneapolis Tribune called “Won’t you come in Bill Dailey” and the song went like this:
Won’t you come in Bill Dailey
Won’t you come in, Bill Dailey,
Won’t you come in,
We blew a three-run lead.
You do the pitchin’, baby, we’ll get ’em back,
We like your sidearm speed.
Remember last Tuesday evening,
You bailed us out,
With nothin’ but an infield hit.
Camilo’s to blame, ain’t it a shame,
Bill Dailey, won’t you please come in.
But in 1964 Dailey hurt his arm (rotor cuff injury) and he was never the same pitcher again. After consulting with several doctors Dailey determined that it was unlikely that he could ever pitch again, with or without surgery and at the age of 29, Bill walked away from the game of baseball. Baseball can be a fun and exciting game but it can also be very cruel. Dailey worked hard to fight his way to the big leagues after spending all that time in the minors and to have your big league hopes dashed by injury at the age of 29, a year short of a major league pension has got to be a frustrating event. But Bill didn’t let this keep him down as he started his after-baseball life and today Bill is enjoying life with his family and friends in Dublin, Virginia.
I really enjoyed my conversation with Bill Dailey who I think is really a class act and a real gentleman who has a great outlook on life. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
The interview with Bill took place in March of 2010 and is broken into two parts and is a total of 89 minutes in length.