Born: May 9, 1908|
The Bronx, New York
Died: March 3, 1997 (aged 88)|
|May 4, 1931 for the Chicago Cubs|
Last MLB appearance
|September 9, 1947 for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||656|
Career highlights and awards
William Frederick Jurges (May 9, 1908 – March 3, 1997) was an American shortstop, manager, coach and scout in Major League Baseball. He was born in Bronx, New York. During the 1930s, he was central to three (
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Career as a player
A right-handed batter and thrower, he was a light hitter—he batted .258 in 1,816 games over 17 seasons—but a good defensive shortstop. During his first eight seasons (1931–38) in Chicago, he anchored an infield of Stan Hack (third base), Billy Herman (second base), and Charlie Grimm or Phil Cavarretta (first base). He then played seven more seasons (1939–45) with the New York Giants, missing over 90 games in
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On July 6, 1932, Violet Valli, a showgirl with whom Jurges was romantically linked, tried to kill Jurges at the Hotel Carlos, where both lived. Jurges had previously tried to end their relationship. Valli (born Violet Popovich) also left a suicide note in which she blamed Cubs outfielder Kiki Cuyler for convincing Jurges to break up with her. Although initial reports stated that Jurges was shot while trying to wrestle the gun from Valli, later reports, based on Valli's suicide note, stated that she was trying to kill Jurges as well as commit suicide.
A week after the shooting, charges were dismissed against Valli when Jurges appeared in court and announced that he would not testify and wished to drop the charges. Valli was later involved in a lawsuit when she sued a real estate developer who was blackmailing her by threatening to release letters in which Valli threatened Jurges.
Career as coach, manager and scout
Jurges was a full-time coach in 1948 under manager Grimm. Then, after leaving the Cubs, Jurges managed briefly in the farm systems of the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Braves, before returning to the coaching ranks with the original Washington Senators franchise in
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But the Red Sox, facing the end of Ted Williams' great career in
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Jurges never managed again in baseball (his final record was 59 wins, 63 losses — .484) but he scouted for the Houston Colt .45s/Astros, the expansion Washington Senators and its successor, the Texas Rangers, the Seattle Mariners, and the Cubs. He died at age 88 in Clearwater, Florida.
- "Letter Solves the Shooting of Bill Jurges". Chicago Tribune. 1932-07-07.
- "Girl Who Shot Cubs' Player Goes Free". Chicago Tribune. 1932-07-16.
- "Girl Regains Jurges Notes; Continue Case". Chicago Tribune. 1932-08-19.
- Hirshberg, Al, What's the Matter With the Red Sox. New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1973
- Jack Bales, "The Shootings of Billy Jurges and Eddie Waitkus," WrigleyIvy.com.
- Baseball-Reference.com - career playing statistics and managing record