Bill Russell (baseball)

Bill Russell (Baseball)

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Bill Russell (baseball)

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William Ellis Russell (born October 21, 1948) is a former shortstop, coach and manager in Major League Baseball. Russell played his entire 18-year, 2,181-game career with the Los Angeles Dodgers as the starting shortstop for four National League pennant winners and one World Series champion. He also served as the team's manager from 1996 to 1998.

Career

A right-handed batter and thrower, Russell came to the Dodgers as a 20-year-old outfielder in , and his first two MLB seasons were spent in the outfield (veteran Maury Wills was the Dodger shortstop). During the 1970–71 offseason, Russell was converted to a second baseman, and then – the following year – to shortstop, becoming a regular in . Russell was the club's everyday shortstop for the next 12 years, anchoring an infield that included third baseman Ron Cey, second baseman Davey Lopes and first baseman Steve Garvey. This infield crew has the distinction of being the longest intact unit in baseball history with eight and a half seasons together. Russell batted .263 over his regular season career, and - coincidentally - posted the same average in 23 World Series games in 1974, 1977, 1978, and 1981. Russell's finest Fall Classic was in 1978, when he garnered 11 hits and batted .423 in a losing effort against the New York Yankees. He also hit .337 over five National League Championship Series. Russell wore number 18.

Russell was hit in the hand with a pitch in 1980, shattering his thumb. He was never really the same...
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