Billy DeMars

This article was written by Bill Nowlin


Infielder Billy DeMars broke into professional baseball at age 17, had his career interrupted by service in the Navy during World War II, then came back and played parts of three seasons in the majors (80 games with the Athletics and Browns), and extended his minor-league career by turning to managing through 1968. He assigned himself to pitch briefly for his Stockton teams in 1959 and 1960. DeMars served 19 years as a major-league baseball coach.

William Lester DeMars was born on August 26, 1925. His father Louis DeMars was a fireman who worked on Engine 243 in Brooklyn, New York. He also worked on a New York City fire boat. Louis and his wife Margaret had three children — Robert, Dorothy, and William. Billy described himself as of Irish and English heritage.1 His name first appeared in late 1941 and early 1942 in the pages of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for his basketball play for the Golden Bear Club. and when he played shortstop for New Utrecht High. His brother Robert — four years older — had played some ball, too, but in the summer of 1942 joined the United States Army.

Billy believed he was a better basketball player than a baseball player2, but a thigh injury in his 1942-43 basketball season reduced his time on the court. By April, though, he was playing shortstop for New Utrecht. In early June, he was awarded the Cruikshank Medal as the high school’s most outstanding athlete.3

DeMars was signed to his first contract by Joe Labate, a scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers.4 His first foray into organized ball came in 1943, playing shortstop for two teams—the Olean Oilers of the Class-D PONY League (a Brooklyn Dodgers affiliate) and the Lancaster Red Roses of the Class-B Interstate League, which had a working agreement with the Philadelphia Athletics.5

He took the train from Brooklyn to Olean with Ralph Branca and the two became roommates.6 With Olean, he appeared in 50 games and batted .270. With Lancaster, he hit .232 in 21 games. “My first year in baseball was 1943. I made three dollars and 50 cents a day.”7 One moment from Lancaster provided him with a memorable experience in baseball. He got a single in the 11th inning to win the game and then, he wrote, “some guy comes out and shakes your hand and gives you five dollars.”8 He did even better than that, playing in the same infield as George Kell and helping Lancaster win the playoffs that year. He saved his money and went home with $350, he remembered.9

Almost the day he got home he was taken into the United States Navy. “I was supposed to have got drafted in August, because I had turned 18, but my father went to the draft board and told them that they couldn’t take me right then, because we were in the playoffs. So they gave me a two-week deferment.”10

When he did go in, he had planned to join the Navy with two friends. “Another friend of mine was also going in at the same time, and the kid who lived next door to me was going to go in two months. We talked him into going with us. We said we’ll all be together. So we went down to take the physical but before we started we all said we’ll go in the Navy. When we all met at 3:30 in the afternoon, I was in the Navy. The kid who was going to go with me was in the Army, and the kid we talked into going was in the Seabees. None of us were together. That was funny.”11

Billy’s brother Robert was already in the Army. He served three years in combat units. “My brother was in North Africa. Sicily. Anzio. And the invasion of Southern France. He got hit a couple of times, but never came back home. After three years, after the war was over, he finally came back home and came down to Jacksonville Naval Air Station where I was. I hardly recognized him; he had lost so much weight. He was lucky to go three years in combat, I’ll tell you.

“He used to tell me how when the landing craft landed, you know how the front comes down and everybody runs off? He used to jump off the side. That was pretty smart.”12

Robert DeMars earned two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star.

Life hadn’t been easy for their sister Dorothy, either. “Dorothy caught polio when she was one year old. That was pretty sad.” She married, but lost her husband when their children were very young. “Her husband was walking off the golf course when her kids were 3, 5, and 7 — he was walking off the golf course and dropped dead,” he said in a 2020 interview. “She used to ride the subway up to Manhattan to work and raise those three kids. She passed away about six or seven years ago.”13

Billy DeMars served two years and six months in the United States Navy. He graduated from the air gunners school program in Jacksonville and was assigned to air operational training.14

While in the service, he had the opportunity to play some baseball and recalled later that he had played with Ted Williams, Bob Kennedy, and Alf Anderson.15 “I played at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. Ted Williams played left field and Bob Kennedy played right field. Charlie Gehringer was my second baseman. I played shortstop. Here I was, an 18-year-old kid, playing with guys who later made the Hall of Fame.”16

DeMars served as a radioman on a Consolidated PBY Catalina search and rescue amphibious airplane. During World War II, PBYs were used in anti-submarine warfare, patrol bombing, convoy escort, search and rescue missions (especially air-sea rescue), and cargo transport. The plane (often called a flying boat) had a crew of 10.17

“I was a third-class radioman. I went in in ‘43 and I got out in the latter part of May in ’46.”18 He served in Jacksonville and also at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

It was at Jacksonville that he met his future wife Katie, a machinist mate. “I met my wife in the Navy. She was in the Navy and she worked in assembly and repair. When the planes got damaged, most of them were women working there because that allowed the men to go out with the fleet. They’d fix them up and send them back to the squadron and then we’d fly them again.

“Her name was Catherine Malick. She got out as a third-class machinist’s mate. We got married in June 1946 after we got out, at Wadsworth, Ohio, just outside of Akron. That night we hopped on a coach train at 11 and got to Nashua, New Hampshire — where I was going to play — at 8:30 in the morning. That was our wedding night.”19

After his military service was complete, DeMars put in two years in the Dodgers system playing Class-B ball. In 1946, he was with the New England League’s Nashua Dodgers, hitting .237 in 98 games. Nashua, under manager Walter Alston, won the league playoffs and in the final game DeMars set a league record with 12 putouts at shortstop. He also had three assists.20 DeMars played alongside teammates Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe, who made the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1948 and 1949 respectively. Baseball researcher Nick Diunte explained that Branch Rickey had sent both these “Negro League talents north to New Hampshire as he could not place them in the hostile cities of his other southern minor league affiliates.” He quotes DeMars as saying, “We had absolutely no problems whatsoever on the team. They were just other players. We got along absolutely great.”21 Newcombe won 19 games for Nashua. The team finished second in the league, 1 1/2 games out of first place, but prevailed in the playoffs beating the Lynn Red Sox. DeMars recalled, “Our winning share was ten bucks apiece!!”22 team,” he said. “They were just other players.

In 1947 he had a breakout year, batting .328 in 112 games for the Tri-State League’s Asheville Tourists. He missed about a month due to a serious illness of his wife, but was marked as “big-league timber.”23 On November 10, 1947, he was acquired by the Philadelphia Athletics, taken from the Dodgers in that year’s Rule 5 draft.24 The Athletics had first taken note of DeMars back in 1943 when he was with Lancaster. He made the bigleague team out of spring training in 1948. DeMars was right-handed, and listed at 5-foot-10 and 160 pounds.

“My first time in the majors was in 1948, in Boston. Fenway Park. That was my first day in the major leagues. It was Patriots Day in a morning/afternoon doubleheader. I’ve always thought that day was something special.”25 It was almost a month before he got into a game.

His major league debut came on May 18, 1948, a night game at Cleveland Stadium against the Indians. By the end of the second inning, the Indians had a 6-0 lead. The Athletics scored once in the top of the fifth. Come the ninth, the score remained 6-1, there were two outs, nobody on base, and pitcher Bubba Harris due up. Manager Connie Mack had DeMars pinch hit. He grounded out, short to first.

It was a month before he got another shot. The Athletics were pretty much set with middle infielders, having Eddie Joost at shortstop and Pete Suder at second base. To hold onto his rights, they had to keep him on the major-league team all year. DeMars didn’t play much, only appearing in 18 games and first playing a complete game on August 10. His first base hit was a single on July 4, collected off Red Sox pitcher Ellis Kinder during a game in Boston when the Sox romped, 19-5. He had five hits — all singles — in 29 at-bats, for a .172 average. With five bases on balls, his on-base percentage was .294. At the end of the season, however, the Athletics kept him on their roster rather than expose him to the minor league draft. In the offseason, he worked selling appliances for the large Abraham & Straus department store in Brooklyn.

In 1949, DeMars trained with the Athletics in the springtime but rather than see him stagnate in another year of relative inactivity, the Athletics optioned him to the Buffalo Bisons on March 29. A note in an April issue of The Sporting News said he was “being hailed by Buffalo scribes as the club’s best fielder at that position since Lou Boudreau was with the Herd ten years ago.”26 He spent the full season with the Triple-A Bisons (International League), playing in 109 games and hitting for a .278 average (.362 OBP), with 56 runs batted in. Nine of them came in back-to-back games, three on May 7 and six on May 8. Later in May, he missed several games due to a pulled leg muscle. In June he suffered a charley horse, and in August a dislocated shoulder. DeMars later said that manager Paul Richards of the Bisons was “the best manager I ever played for….Paul Richards taught me more baseball that year than I had ever learned. And when I became a manager, I patterned myself after him.”27

In mid-December 1949, he was part of a deal the Athletics made with the St. Louis Browns. The Browns sold Bob Dillinger and Paul Lehner to Philadelphia for $100,000 and “four throw-ins.” DeMars and Frankie Gustine were two of the “throw-ins.”28 United Press later said he was “tossed into” the Dillinger deal “at the Browns’ request.”29 An Associated Press story was kinder, indeed calling DeMars “one of the best shortstops in the International League last year.”30

DeMars played exceptionally well for Browns manager Zack Taylor in spring training, hitting .455 in early April 1950, including one game in which he hit three doubles. Tommy Holmes wrote, “The kid from Brooklyn has fielded his position brilliantly to date, and his stick work has left nothing to be desired.”31 United Press selected DeMars and the Dodgers’ Bobby Morgan as the major leagues’ “outstanding rookies” of spring training, noting that only Joe DiMaggio had a better batting average than DeMars.32

DeMars fought it out with Tom Upton for the shortstop position during the springtime, but Upton seemed to win out and on April 5 DeMars was part of a roster cut and was optioned to San Antonio. By Opening Day, he was back, though, and the team kept them both for the full season. It was DeMars who got the start on Opening Day. He was 0-for-4, with a walk. DeMars got the lion’s share of the work until a badly sprained left ankle suffered on June 2 cost him two months. He was batting .238 at the time. His next game was August 2. He played most of August, and then shared duties in September. By season’s end, he had appeared in 61 games, batting .247 (.330 OBP). He drove in 13 runs and scored 25. He committed 17 errors at shortstop but Upton (who hit .237 in 124 games) committed 30.

It was something of the same story again in 1951, starting spring training with the Browns but being optioned to the San Antonio Missions again in early April. This time, though, he initially balked at reporting there, but soon did. He got in a full year’s work, appearing in 129 games and batting .245. A serious beaning in July cost him a week and on August 24 he suffered another head collision. From the point on, DeMars typically wore a protective liner under his baseball cap.

On September 11, 1951, DeMars was recalled from San Antonio by the Browns. He was only used in one game, though, the second game of the September 28 doubleheader at Sportsman’s Park against the White Sox. He batted leadoff and was 1-for-4, with a walk, against Howie Judson. It was his last game in the majors. For his big league career, DeMars had a .237 batting average and a .326 on-base percentage. His fielding percentage was .931.

DeMars was far from ready to give up baseball.

In the beginning of January, he was released outright to Toronto. For the next four years (1952 through 1955) he played high-level (Triple A) ball for the Toronto Maple Leafs, with full seasons in 1952 (141 games, .282) and 1953 (148 games, .261.) In 1954, he was limited to just 40 games, following a pulled muscle under his throwing arm, and then by a season-ending injury when he developed a bone spur on his left elbow after being hit by a pitch in late June. The Maple Leafs won the International League pennant. In 1955 he was limited to 67 games.

In the winter of 1952-53, DeMars played Venezuelan winter league ball for Caracas.

The following winter he helped run the sports department of Abraham & Straus. “It was the next-biggest store to Macy’s. Most of the time in the off seasons, I worked in department stores. I became an assistant buyer in toys. In Abraham and Strauss, we put a little section up in the toy store and I sold sporting goods. We did very good.”33

In 1956, he was still in the International League but was playing again for Buffalo; they had purchased his contract in December. On May 20 he ruptured a blood vessel in his throwing arm, but still got into 104 games, batting .244.

In February 1957, the Portland Beavers purchased his contract and it was off to the Pacific Coast League. He hit .242 in 137 games.

He began the 1958 season with Portland but was cut from the roster at cut-down time (May 15). He hooked on with Vancouver. Ten days later, though, he was released by the Mounties, but in visiting the team office it was suggested he consider managing. He allowed he didn’t know how one would get started. A phone call was made, and he was taken on as manager of the Aberdeen (South Dakota) Pheasants, a Baltimore Orioles affiliate in the Class-C Northern League.

DeMars had never heard of the team before, and only learned of their won/loss record after agreeing to take the job. One could say he had his work cut out for him; the team was 2-22 at the time he assumed the reins.34 One could also say expectations might have been low, so he had nothing to lose. They were 2-28 before things began to turn around.

The Pheasants swept a Memorial Day doubleheader from Grand Forks, and won the next day, too. “What these kids need most is some confidence,” he said.35 He assigned himself to play shortstop and hit .258 in 81 games. It was the last year he played more than a handful of games. The Pheasants did finish last, with a record of 39-86, but no doubt felt better about themselves than when he had arrived. He was looking forward to coming back for a full season, but the Orioles GM, Harry Dalton, brought in another manager instead — Earl Weaver, who had two years of seniority in the O’s system.36

Dalton asked DeMars to manage the Stockton Ports in the Class-C California League. He did so in 1959 and in 1960. Stockton finished fourth in the six-team league both years.

DeMars began the 1961 season as manager of the Leesburg Orioles of the Class-D Florida State League. He was promoted to the Class-B (Northern League) Tri-City Atoms (Braves) on June 7.37 Cal Ripken, Sr., and then Ray Scarborough had taken his place with Leesburg. Both the Northern League’s Tri-City team and Leesburg finished last in their respective leagues.

In 1962, DeMars was back with the Aberdeen Pheasants. The league had expanded to eight teams, and the Pheasants finished fourth, winning the first round of the playoffs, but then were eliminated by Eau Claire in the final. In late August, while pitching batting practice, he was struck in the face by a batted ball, requiring surgery on his nose and causing him to miss the rest of the season.

In January 1963, he was announced as manager of the Orioles’ Appleton (Wisconsin) Foxes (known as the Fox Cities Foxes) of the Class-A Midwest League. In his first year, the Foxes finished eighth in the 10-team league, but in 1964 they finished first (81-43) and won a single-game playoff against Clinton. In ’65, the team was 55-63 and finished seventh.

In 1966 DeMars was hired to manage the Miami Marlins of the Class-A Florida State League. The Miami club was also affiliated with Baltimore and finished fourth in the 10-team league. One remarkable game was the 29-inning game on June 14-15, in which the Marlins battled Sparky Anderson’s St. Petersburg Cardinals, winning in the 29th, 5-4, the longest game in organized baseball history until upstaged by a 32-inning game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings in June 1981.

In 1967, DeMars managed the Elmira Pioneers, up a notch to Double-A ball (Eastern League). Elmira also had a winning record, finishing first in the West Division but losing to Binghamton in the playoffs.

Farm director Lou Gorman moved DeMars up another notch in 1968, to Triple-A Rochester. The Red Wings finished third in the league.

For the next 19 seasons, DeMars was back in the big leagues again, this time as a coach, hired by the Phillies in late October 1968. He coached for the Phillies from 1969 through 1981.

At least once, in the winter of 1974/75, he worked over the winter, too, managing Caguas in Puerto Rico.

He then worked as both hitting coach and third base coach for the Montreal Expos in 1982 and 1983, and as hitting coach in 1984. His last three years as a coach — 1985 through 1987 — saw him on the staff of the Cincinnati Reds.

It was a remarkable run. Most managers tend to want to bring in their own coaches, but in Philadelphia DeMars served under Bob Skinner and George Myatt in 1969, Frank Lucchesi in 1970 and 1971, Lucchesi and Paul Owens in 1972, and then under Danny Ozark from 1973 into 1979, when Dallas Green replaced Ozark during the season. DeMars continued with Green in both 1980 and 1981.

It was after the Phillies won the World Series in 1980 that he first established some roots in Florida. First there was Rochester. He had long since moved out of New York City. “The reason we moved was they were going to put the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in, just a couple of blocks from where I lived. I thought I better get the hell out of there. My boss at Abraham and Strauss became the superintendent for McCurdy’s and Company, up in Rochester, New York. I asked him about getting a job and he said, ‘Hell, yeah’ so we moved up to Rochester and worked in the department store up there. I worked there for a long time. Eighteen years. It was a great place. Great people. Except it was cold as hell and snowy in the wintertime. They’d have at least 100 inches of snow.

“From Rochester, we moved to Wayne, Pennsylvania because I was with the Phillies. I lived in Wayne until 1981. In 1980, we won the World Series so I figured I would buy a place down in Florida.”38 After the 1981 season, though, Phillies owner Ruly Carpenter sold the team and all the coaches were let go.

In 1982, he moved to the Expos and worked under two different managers: Jim Fanning and Bill Virdon. During spring training in 1982, Fanning asked DeMars to work with Tim Wallach, who became the team’s third baseman that year. In 71 games during his 1981 rookie season, Wallach had hit for a .236 batting average with four home runs and 13 runs batted in. Writer Danny Gallagher interviewed DeMars in 2017. Without needing to look up any stats, DeMars knew that Wallach had hit those four homers in 1981. Gallagher wrote, “[H]e correctly remembered from the top of his head, ‘Wallach went out and hit 28 homers and had 97 RBI. He showed up with the pitchers and catchers at spring training and we worked together every day the whole season.’”39 Wallach was his favorite player to have worked with on the Expos and more than 35 years later they still keep in touch. Wallach texted Gallagher a comment for publication: “Billy was one of the smartest and hardest working coaches I ever played for and a great person as well.”40

Other hitters upon whom DeMars had considerable impact were Larry Bowa, Deron Johnson, and Mike Schmidt. In 1985, Phillies coach Dave Bristol talked about his earlier work with the Phillies’ Hall of Fame third baseman: “Look what he did for Schmidt. He evened him up, shortened his stroke and then Schmidty took off. Half the battle is getting players to believe you, and Billy has always been able to do that.”41

In 1985 through 1987, he worked for the Cincinnati Reds under Pete Rose, who had hit his 4,000th base hit while DeMars was the hitting coach with the Expos in 1984. “It was sad to see Montreal lose the baseball team,” DeMars said in 2017.”My three years up there were absolutely great. The only reason I left Montreal was because of Pete Rose.”42

Rose valued DeMars’s work with him as a hitting coach. Rose was playing for the Reds when he broke Ty Cobb’s record of 3,052 singles. “When Pete hit the tying hit, he gave the ball to Billy. Then when he broke the record later that same game, he gave Billy the bat that hit the ball. They were that close. Rose once said, ‘DeMars was the best hitting coach in all of baseball.’”43

DeMars said of Rose, “He had asked me, if he ever got to manage, if I would be his hitting coach. I said, ‘You get the team and I’ll be there.’ Sure enough, he got the team in Cincinnati.”44

His final year was 1997. That’s a total of nine different managers under whom DeMars served.

His teams had their share of success. The 1976 Phillies won the division but were swept in the NLCS by the Reds. In 1977 and 1978 they won the division, but both times lost to the Dodgers in the NCLS. In 1980, they beat Houston in the NLCS and won the World Series, beating the Kansas City Royals in six games. In 1981, they battled the Expos in the Division Series but came up short.

In a sense, you take your chances in postseason play, but the Phillies won the division five times, earned a pennant, and won the 1980 World Championship in the 13 years he coached for the team.

As the 1987 season was coming to a close, the Reds announced plans to bring in Tony Perez to help with hitting instruction. DeMars chose to resign rather than be part of a tandem with Perez. DeMars was, at the time, being “paid about $80,000 a year as one of the major leagues’ best-paid hitting coaches.”45 He hadn’t been enamored of team owner Marge Schott’s penny-pinching ways, forced to pay the $105 for his annual physical out of his own pocket. It was, he said, “the first time in my 21 years in the majors that the club didn’t pay for a physical for me.”46

Perhaps being such a successful hitting instructor cost him the opportunity to manage a bigleague team. So suggested Rochester sportswriter Frank Bilovsky. He quoted DeMars: “I
was in the running for a few [manager positions] but I was never chosen. I think I became labeled as such a great hitting coach that nobody wanted me as the manager because they were afraid they’d lose me as hitting coach. That’s too bad. I would have been my own hitting coach.”47

Katie and Billy DeMars had three children — Janet, Bill Jr., and Judy.

“I came down here to Florida. The young kids trained here in Clearwater. I helped the kids in hitting for about six years. After 2001, I quit. I retired in 2001.

“We had Janet, who spent 46 years with United Airlines. She died in 2016. My wife died in 2017.

“My son — he’s here visiting with me, at age 70, and my youngest daughter lives over in Tampa. My son was really a good-looking baseball player and basketball player. He had a scholarship to Canisius College in Buffalo in basketball. They played all the great teams in the country. He was a helluva baseball player, a shortstop. I could have got him a scholarship for baseball down at Florida State, because I knew the people down there but by the time I called them up, he had already told Canisius he would go there. He went up there and had a great career in basketball. He went into finances for 40 years, had a great job and did really, really well.

“I have two ladies that come from 7 AM in the morning to 7 PM to help me through the day. In five months, I’m going to be 95. They said it couldn’t be done!

“I was pretty lucky. My brother was pretty lucky. He died about six or seven years ago. My sister died about four years ago. My son just came down from Colorado to spend a few weeks with me. These two ladies take care of me. I had been falling down a lot so they are looking after me. I’m doing pretty good. I exercise every day — do pushups, sit-ups, ride a bike, things like that. My mother always used to say, ‘When you get old, keep moving.’” 48

Looking back on his life in baseball, from the $3.50 a day he got when he first broke in to the $10 per player share for winning the New England League playoffs in 1946, DeMars said in 2020, “We played because we liked to play baseball, not because of the money. I tell everybody I was brought up and lived at the best time of the century. Even though we had the Depression and went to the war, it was the best time.”

It was suggested that sometimes one can appreciate the better times when you realize there have been some tough times along the way. DeMars replied, “You’re right about that.”49

Last revised: June 2, 2020

 

Acknowledgments

This biography was reviewed by James Forr and Norman Macht and fact-checked by Kevin Larkin and Chris Rainey.

Thanks also to Tim Copeland and to Bill DeMars, Jr.

 

Sources

In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author also consulted Baseball-Reference.com, Retrosheet.org, and DeMars’s player file at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

 

Notes

1 William Weiss questionnaire, available through SABR on Ancestry.com.

2 Lindsay C. Pritchard, “‘Billy the Kid’ DeMars,” Sports Collectors Digest, May 8, 1994: 136.

3 “DeMars Gets New Utrecht Medal Award,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 9, 1943: 14.

4 DeMars player file at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

5 Art Morrow, “Connie Early Spring Housecleaner, Heads North with Only 26 Players,” The Sporting News, April 7,1948: 11.

6 Pritchard.

7 Author interview with Billy DeMars on March 22, 2020.

8 Weiss questionnaire.

9 Pritchard.

10 Pritchard.

11 DeMars interview March 2020.

12 DeMars interview March 2020.

13 DeMars interview March 2020.

14 “With Our Fighters,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, August 9, 1944: 11.

15 Weiss questionnaire.

16 DeMars interview March 2020.

17 “Consolidated PBY Catalina,” Mid America Flight Museum, https://midamericaflightmuseum.com/portfolio-items/consolidated-pby-catalina/ Accessed November 24, 2019.

18 DeMars interview March 2020.

19 DeMars interview March 2020.

20 “New England League,” The Sporting News, September 25, 1946: 29.

21 Nick Diunte, “Don Newcombe’s Memory Celebrated by Nashua Teammate Billy DeMars,” BaseballHappenings, February 20, 2019. https://www.baseballhappenings.net/2019/02/baseball-happenings-podcast-don.html. Accessed November 24, 2019.

22 Diunte. With Olean, DeMars said, he had received a salary of $100 a month — which translated to about $3.50 a day. He made the point that today’s minor-league managers ought to be paid more than they are, particularly given the large sums paid to major-league players.

23 L. P. (Red) Miller, “DeMars Solid at Short,” The Sporting News, November 17, 1947: 18.

24 “Dodger Farms Lost Three in Major League Draft,” The Sporting News, November 19, 1947: 11.

25 DeMars interview March 2020.

26 “Minor Training,” The Sporting News, April 20, 1949: 41.

27 Pritchard.

28 “A’s Land Brownie Stars,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 14, 1949: 23.

29 “Collins Makes Yanks Forget All About Mize,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 16, 1950: 27.

30 Associated Press, “Macks’ Fans Have Doubts Over Trade,” Miami Herald, December 17, 1949: 19.

31 Tommy Holmes, “Now Is the Time Class Will Tell,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, April 4, 1950: 15.

32 United Press, “Joe DiMaggio Best Hitter in Spring Training Games,” Hartford Courant, April 2, 1950: C8.

33 DeMars interview March 2020.

34 Larry Desautels, “Batting Around,” Aberdeen Daily News, June 1, 1958: 11.

35 Larry Desautels.

36 “Earl Weaver New Pheasants Manager,” Aberdeen Daily News, December 21, 1958: 12.

37 Associated Press, “Tri-Cities Get New Manager,” Oregonian, June 8, 1961: 30.

38 DeMars interview March 2020.

39 Danny Gallagher, “Former Expos Hitting Coach Works Out Every Day at 92,” Canadian Baseball Network, December 24, 2017. https://www.canadianbaseballnetwork.com/canadian-baseball-network-articles/former-expos-hitting-coach-works-out-every-day-at-92&

40 Danny Gallagher.

41 Greg Hoard, “DeMars Sways Reds’ Hitters,” Cincinnati Enquirer, March 17, 1985.

42 Danny Gallagher.

43 Bob Griffin, “Catching Up with Former Phillies Coach Billy DeMars,” MLB.com, July 1, 2019. https://www.mlb.com/news/catching-up-with-billy-demars-c187303264. Accessed November 24, 2019.

44 DeMars interview March 2020.

45 “Red Staff Disgruntled,” New York Times, September 4, 1987: A18.

46 “There Was A Man Who Knew How to Rub It In,” Los Angeles Times, October 12, 1987: D2.

47 Frank Bilovsky, “Skill As Coach Cost DeMars Managing Job,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, undated May 1988 article found in DeMars’s player file at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

48 DeMars interview March 2020.

49 DeMars interview March 2020.

Full Name

William Lester DeMars

Born

August 26, 1925 at Brooklyn, NY (USA)

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