It’s understandable why “Barnacle Bill” Posedel is associated with the water. He spent more time in Navy ships than pitching in the major leagues. He may have preferred an association with water over land considering his mother was pregnant with him in San Francisco when the 1906 earthquake struck.
Posedel joined the Navy upon becoming an adult, serving in the Pacific for several years in the 1920s and developing into a highly competent pitcher and amateur boxer. He joined a Pacific Coast League team after his discharge in 1929 and played PCL ball until his contract was purchased by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937. His baseball career did not amount to much and was effectively terminated by the arrival of World War II. Already a Navy veteran, Posedel once again took to the water where he helped safeguard merchant ships as the head of various gun crews.
After returning to land, he put in one more year of PCL ball before moving to the nautical-themed Pirates organization as a scout. He quickly progressed to become a pitching coach and held that role with various teams into the 1970s. He is generally credited as a driving force behind the success of the pitching staff of the A’s championship teams of the 1970s.
’52 Topps Bill Posedel
This card is one of the difficult to locate high numbers. It was acquired as part of a half dozen low-grade ’52 high numbers via an eBay purchase.