Saturday, February 10, 2018

Bill Hands (#279)

Bill Hands was a top-3 starter for the Cubs from 1968-72. His best season came in 1969, when he won 20 games for a team apparently headed to the post-season.

Hands began his career in the Giants’ organization in 1959. He pitched in their farm system for SEVEN seasons, and made his major-league debut with 4 games in 1965 (3 in early June, 1 in October).

After the ’65 season, he and catching prospect Randy Hundley were traded to the Cubs for veteran reliever Lindy McDaniel and fading outfielder Don Landrum, in what many Giants' fans consider to be another in a string of bad trades by Giants' management in that era.

Bill was a full-time pitcher for the Cubs for the next 7 seasons. Primarily a starter in ’66 and a reliever in ’67, Hands became a full-time starter in 1968, and responded by winning 16, 20, 18, 12, and 11 games in each of the next 5 seasons. Along with winning 20 games in 1969, he pitched 18 complete games.

After the 1972 season he was traded to the Twins for reliever Dave LaRoche. Hands was primarily a reliever during his 2-year hitch with the Twins, but did not enjoy the same success that he had during his stay with the Cubs.

In September 1974 he was claimed off waivers by the Rangers. He appeared in 2 games for Texas that month and 18 in 1975. Although traded to the Mets in February 1976 for pitcher George Stone, Hands retired before the ’76 season.

 He died in Orlando, FL in March 2017 at age 76.

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