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Bill Stites

Ballplayers Wounded in Combat


Date and Place of Birth: June 25, 1926 Kansas City, KS
Date and Place of Death:    December 16, 2010 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Pitcher
Rank: Private
Military Unit: 6th Marine Division USMC
Area Served: Pacific Theater of OPerations

William N. Stites, the son of Merle and Lorene Stites, was born in Kansas City, Kansas on June 25, 1926. As a teenager he enlisted in the Marine Corps in World War II and served as a private with the 6th Marine Division, receiving combat wounds at Saipan and Okinawa.

In March 1949, the 22-year-old southpaw pitcher signed with the Boise Pilots of the Class C Pioneer League, making 37 appearances for a 7-13 record and 5.18 ERA. In 1950, he pitched for the Globe-Miami Browns of the Class C Arizona-Texas League and hurled 219 innings in 52 appearances for a 10-14 record and 6.04 ERA.

Stites was with the El Paso Texans of the Class C Southwest International League in 1951 and won a staggering 29 games, which was surprisingly second-best in the league. Vince Gonzales - who would make a single appearance for the Washington Senators in 1955 – won 32 that year. In 1952, Stites played for Yakima and Wenatchee in the Class A Western International League – this time losing 20 games. He played in Canada with the Calgary Stampeders of the same league in 1953 and 1954, and ended his playing days with the Saskatoon Gems of the non-affiliated Western Canada League in 1955.

Bill Stites worked as a Project Manager on the building of the Trans Alaska Pipeline in Alaska from 1975 thru the completion of that project in 1977, and made his home in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife, Iona.

Aged 84, Stites passed away on December 16, 2010 at the Royal University Hospital in Saskatoon. He is buried at the St. Alphonse Roman Catholic Cemetery in Viscount, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Date Added May 21, 2020

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