Hagerty: Meet the man who played for 50 minor-league teams and never reached the majors

From SABR member Tim Hagerty at The Sporting News on November 4, 2015:

Bill Sisler was the most persistent player in baseball history. From Smithfield to Springfield, St. Joseph to St. Thomas, Sisler pitched for 50 minor league teams from 1923-1950. He never made it to the majors.

Imagine the stories he told. How musty the hotel was in Montpelier, how dim the lights were in Dubuque. He played everywhere.

Sisler holds the professional baseball record for most teams played for. But here’s the thing about Sisler — he never performed very well. His sales pitch was his best pitch.

Sisler traveled from city to city, convincing team owners to meet with him. The short, smiling pitcher then charmed his way into contracts, only to be released after a handful of shaky outings. Sisler never lasted more than 10 games with one club. He suited up for five teams in 1947 alone.

“Because Sisler’s stops were very brief, he may, in fact, have signed additional contracts which were never filed with the National Association,” a blurb in SABR’s Baseball Research Journal Volume 2 speculated. “Amazingly, Clarksburg, West Virginia was the only city in which he made two stops.”

Read the full article here: http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb-news/4660173-bill-sisler-50-most-teams-minor-league-record-springfield-pitcher-sabr-manager

Originally published: November 4, 2015. Last Updated: November 4, 2015.