- February 6, 1932
- 6' 4"
- 185 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-28-1951 with PIT
Right-hander Bill Koski was just nineteen years old when he signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent before the 1950 season. Bill was farmed out to the Mayfield Clothiers of the class D Kitty League his first season and came up with a pleasing 8-2 record with a 2.42 ERA while appearing in only 10 games. Not pitching enough innings to be included among the league leaders, there is no doubt his fine performance helped his team to the league pennant but the playoff championship also. It would also get him invited to Forbes Field the following year.
The 6' 4", hard-throwing pitcher did make the long jump from the class D minors to the Pittsburgh Pirates out of spring training in 1951 but would lose his only start to the New York Giants and made another dozen relief appearances; he also spent time with the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association in between his appearances with Pittsburgh early and late in the season, going 4-9 with a 5.24 ERA in 15 appearances. This would be Koski's only chance at the major leagues, finishing out with an 0-1 record in 13 appearances.
Koski would then spend time in the United States Armed Services during the Korean War, but would arrive back in time to appear in 13 games in the 1954 season, going 5-4 with a 4.50 ERA. Bill would spend three more years in the minors, having some success in 1955, when he went 8-7 with a 3.43 ERA for the Brunswick Pirates and the Burlington-Graham Pirates in a split season affair. Koski had a rough couple of seasons in 1956-57 and brought his baseball career to an end in 1957 with a minor league career record of 39-48 and a 4.14 ERA.
Koski left with one reflection... "Honus Wagner would sit in the dugout once in a while, but I didn't even know who he was....just an old time player. I'd come off the mound and he'd talk to me telling me to be more aggressive out there or something....But I look back now and wonder how many guys even got to meet him?"
After baseball, Koski took up residence in Modesto, CA, where he has been a draftsman for the Stanislaus County Planning Department. He also stayed involved in amateur baseball as a coach in youth leagues and as the pitching coach at California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock, CA.
- Bill Koski