Bats: Right • Throws: Right
6-4, 195lb (193cm, 88kg)
Born: February 21, 1943 (Age: 77-266d) in Orlando, FL
Debut: April 11, 1968 (Age 25-050d, 10,285th in MLB history)
vs. NYM 0.2 IP, 0 H, 1 SO, 0 BB, 0 ER
Last Game: June 20, 1980 (Age 37-120d)
vs. CAL 3.1 IP, 10 H, 0 SO, 1 BB, 7 ER
Full Name: John Eugene Billingham
View Player Bio from the SABR BioProject
Billingham, a distant relative of Christy Mathewson, was groomed as a reliever in the Dodger organization. He became a starter with Houston, and by 1972 was a mainstay in the rotation of Cincinnati’s “Big Red Machine.” The gentle, 6’4″ righthander won at least 10 games for 10 consecutive seasons (1970-79), with 19 victories in both 1973 and ’74. He didn’t miss a turn in ’73 as he led the NL with 40 starts, 293 IP, and seven shutouts. In three World Series, Billingham allowed just one earned run in 25 1/3 innings; in Game Three of the 1972 WS, he threw eight shutout innings to defeat Oakland, 1-0.
In his first 1974 start, he gave up Hank Aaron’s record-tying 714th home run. In 1978, after winning 87 games in six years with Cincinnati, Billingham was traded to Detroit. Two years later he finished with Boston.