Billy O’Dell served in US Military
Left-handed 5 ft 11 ft pitcher Digger O’Dell was a first class funny person off the field and a very fine mound star on the pitching mound, winning 105 games major league games.
At age 21 in 1954 he signed as bonus baby with the Baltimore Orioles and pitched 7 games that year, and next served two years in the US Military. Upon returning in 1957 to the Orioles the young fastball pitcher was 4-10 with a sterling 2.69 earned run average for a Baltimore team that batted just .238, the lowest in the entire major leagues.
Chosen to the American league All Star team in 1958 and 1959. Billy O’Dell dominated NL hitters in the 1959 Game, pitching 3 scoreless innings to help the AL win. In 1958 with Baltimore, his 2.97 ERA was 5th best in AL, and he was second in the AL in fewest walks per 9 innings with 2.07.
On November 11 1959 Billy O’Dell was traded to the San Francisco Giants in a five-man trade, and was used as a reliever and starter during the next two years. In 1962 he was moved into the starting rotation and responded by compiling a 19-14 record, with a 3.53 ERA, struck out 195 batters, fifth highest in the NL, walked just 66, pitched 280.3 innings, 3rd most in the NL, and completed a huge 20 games, 2 highest in NL, in 39 started, 2 shutouts. In 1963 Billy O’Dell was 14-10, complete 10 of 33 starts, including 3 shutouts. He also pitched with Milwaukee, Atlanta and Pittsburgh. basballhistorian.com Famous Baseball Players