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Does Anyone Else Here Remember Great 3B Coach Billy Hunter?


Old#5fan

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After going through the likes of Tom "The Professor "(Lord I hated when Jim Hunter always called him that) Treblehorn, and now Juan Samuel who never saw an out he didn't like to run into, wouldn't it be wonderful to have another guy like Billy Hunter to coach third?

As I recall (and hopefully a few others do here maybe even better) Billy was superb at judging when to send the runner home. He rarely made any mistakes where the runner was out by a mile. Even if sometimes a great play was made by the opposition it was always a pretty close play and more often than not Billy suceeded in getting the runner home safe and sound.

I also recall how Billy even had a small group of players devoted to being highly skilled at bunting. There was even a nickname for them - The Billy Hunter-Bunters. I cannot think exactly who they were now but I believe they included Al Bumbry, Rich Coggins, and possibly John T-Bone Shelby who now coaches for the team. I also seem to recall that Rich Daur was a great bunter as well.

I did not look up Billy's tenure but I seem to recall he began coaching third for Hank Bauer and continued through most of Earl's years managing the team. I guarantee you the Orioles ran the bases much smarter and more wisely in those days. That I do know for sure.

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Billy Hunter coached third from 1964 through mid-1977 when he became manager of the Texas Rangers. He later coached baseball at Towson and was the acting Athletic Director there for a time. I used to see him at TU sporting events even after his retirement. A real class guy.

I don't remember anyone ever complaining about his coaching at third. I do remember that he was a little upset when Bauer was fired and the team hired Weaver and bypassed him. He called himself "the Frank Crosetti of the Baltimore Orioles" (look it up).

Still, he remained a good soldier until the Texas hiring. Rip Sr., who had been bullpen coach, move into the slot at third and Brooks, who was a player/coach that year, started sitting in the bullpen.

Rip Sr. went on to send many players to certain death at the plate during his tenure.

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After going through the likes of Tom "The Professor "(Lord I hated when Jim Hunter always called him that) Treblehorn, and now Juan Samuel who never saw an out he didn't like to run into, wouldn't it be wonderful to have another guy like Billy Hunter to coach third?

As I recall (and hopefully a few others do here maybe even better) Billy was superb at judging when to send the runner home. He rarely made any mistakes where the runner was out by a mile. Even if sometimes a great play was made by the opposition it was always a pretty close play and more often than not Billy suceeded in getting the runner home safe and sound.

I also recall how Billy even had a small group of players devoted to being highly skilled at bunting. There was even a nickname for them - The Billy Hunter-Bunters. I cannot think exactly who they were now but I believe they included Al Bumbry, Rich Coggins, and possibly John T-Bone Shelby who now coaches for the team. I also seem to recall that Rich Daur was a great bunter as well.

I did not look up Billy's tenure but I seem to recall he began coaching third for Hank Bauer and continued through most of Earl's years managing the team. I guarantee you the Orioles ran the bases much smarter and more wisely in those days. That I do know for sure.

I wonder if Don Bufford was in that list.

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Billy Hunter coached third from 1964 through mid-1977 when he became manager of the Texas Rangers. He later coached baseball at Towson and was the acting Athletic Director there for a time. I used to see him at TU sporting events even after his retirement. A real class guy.

I don't remember anyone ever complaining about his coaching at third. I do remember that he was a little upset when Bauer was fired and the team hired Weaver and bypassed him. He called himself "the Frank Crosetti of the Baltimore Orioles" (look it up).

Still, he remained a good soldier until the Texas hiring. Rip Sr., who had been bullpen coach, move into the slot at third and Brooks, who was a player/coach that year, started sitting in the bullpen.

Rip Sr. went on to send many players to certain death the plate during his tenure.

Thanks for adding so much of your memory to this thread. He was there so long (13 years) that he was a fixture and like you said, nobody ever complained about his work as upon reflection he was superb. Far superior to anyone who has followed in his footsteps. If there was a HOF for Third Base Coaches he should be in it! I remember when he left to manage the Rangers and I don't think he lasted there all that long. It seemed strange not seeing him in the third base coaching box.

When I was a kid he autographed my baseball glove after a game, and some kid stole it about a year later. He was a very nice, down to earth type man.

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He wore 55 as a coach here but wore 5 in Texas and at Towson, I believe. When he was fired for finishing second in 1978, several of the the Ranger players wore T-shirts with "5" on them the next season.

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He wore 55 as a coach here but wore 5 in Texas and at Towson, I believe. When he was fired for finishing second in 1978, several of the the Ranger players wore T-shirts with "5" on them the next season.

Do you know if the Orioles retired his number? If not they should have!:(:mad:

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3rd base coach? I remember when he played SS for the O’s. :) Was the first of a few good field/ no hit SS’s for the Baltimore 9. He made the ‘53 All-Star team for the Browns, and put up an OPS+ of 37 with over 600 PA.:eek: Was a fan favorite in ‘54 for his D on a real bad team! Many were sad to see him traded to the NYY that winter. PS: kind of off the topic of 3rd base coaches, but I had to throw it in.

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Heck I would take Sammy P back, though he would never come back. I seem to remember him being a solidly reasoned coach when sending runners as 3rd base coach and while he was here , not as manager, we always had a great fielding infield. He just got how to make players play defense at the highest level.

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After going through the likes of Tom "The Professor "(Lord I hated when Jim Hunter always called him that) Treblehorn, and now Juan Samuel who never saw an out he didn't like to run into, wouldn't it be wonderful to have another guy like Billy Hunter to coach third?

As I recall (and hopefully a few others do here maybe even better) Billy was superb at judging when to send the runner home. He rarely made any mistakes where the runner was out by a mile. Even if sometimes a great play was made by the opposition it was always a pretty close play and more often than not Billy suceeded in getting the runner home safe and sound.

I also recall how Billy even had a small group of players devoted to being highly skilled at bunting. There was even a nickname for them - The Billy Hunter-Bunters. I cannot think exactly who they were now but I believe they included Al Bumbry, Rich Coggins, and possibly John T-Bone Shelby who now coaches for the team. I also seem to recall that Rich Daur was a great bunter as well.

I did not look up Billy's tenure but I seem to recall he began coaching third for Hank Bauer and continued through most of Earl's years managing the team. I guarantee you the Orioles ran the bases much smarter and more wisely in those days. That I do know for sure.

If I am not mistaken, the Hunter bunters were actually what the ST Intrasquad team was called. I really do not ever think the O's were a great bunting team, especially in the Weaver years. but guys like Buford, Belanger, Bumbry etc. were all very capable. Earl did not utilize the sacrifice a lot. He hated giving up outs, and often disdained the bunt.

I am sure Billy had his share of guys thrown out at the plate, as I think any third base coach has. Frankly, if you do not have an occassional guy thrown out, you are being too conservative.

The current group may be the worst I have ever seen at giving away outs and certainly some of that falls on the coaches but base running like everything else in baseball is largely instinct. The instinct of some of our guys stinks and I am not sure even Billy could fix that.

I can remember Orioles of the past who had their problems. Benny Ayala seemed to run until he scored or was tagged out which ever came first. Richie Coggins while very fast, was not a great base runner. There were others.

The difference is that there were not message boards and talk shows that bemoaned every out on the base path's. They happened they were forgotten faster. Sometimes a player does something that causes an out that goes unnoticed. I believe AJ got thrown out at the plate a week or so agao, and I looked at the replay and it seemed like he took and extremely long swing around third.

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Do you know if the Orioles retired his number? If not they should have!:(:mad:

Nope, 4 ,5 ,8, 20, 22, 33, and the Jackie Robinson number 42.

If we were to retire Billy's, we would have to do the same for Bamberger, Elrod (he would be the first IMO), Miller and maybe a few others.

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When Memorial Stadium closed, all the players past and present signed a bunch of balls and heaved them into the stands as part of the postgame. I brought home a Billy Hunter ball and admittedly had to look him up. By all accounts an upstanding guy and as true an Oriole as that era produced.

I too recall Cal Sr being conservative to a fault in the 3B box.

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