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Del Bissonette
First baseman
Born: September 6, 1899(1899-09-06)
Winthrop, Maine
Died: June 9, 1972 (aged 72)
Augusta, Maine
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
April 11, 1928 for the Brooklyn Robins
Last MLB appearance
June 4, 1933 for the Brooklyn Dodgers
Career statistics
Batting average     .305
Home runs     66
Runs batted in     391
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Adelphia Louis Bissonette (September 6, 1899 – June 9, 1972) was an American first baseman, manager and coach in Major League Baseball.

Born in Winthrop, Maine, Bissonette attended Westbrook (Maine) Seminary, the University of New Hampshire and Georgetown University before signing a professional baseball contract with Valleyfield-Cap de la Madeleine in the Class B Eastern Canada League in 1922. A left-handed batting and throwing first baseman, Bissonette was an outstanding hitter, batting .381 for York of the Class A New York-Penn League in 1925. In 1927, playing for the Buffalo Bisons, Bissonette led the AA International League in runs (168), hits (229), doubles (46), triples (20), home runs (31), and runs batted in (167). His .367 batting average was nine points behind the IL's batting champion that season.

The following season, Bissonette joined the Brooklyn Robins — the once and future Dodgers — of the National League and continued his lusty hitting, batting .320 with 25 home runs in 155 games. Although he tailed off in 1929, Bissonette rebounded in 1930 by driving in 113 runs and batting .336. It was his last productive season as a major league player. He suffered a tendon injury, missed the entire 1932 season with an illness, and was back in the International League by the middle of the 1933 campaign. In 604 games over all or parts of five seasons with Brooklyn, Bissonette batted .305 with 66 homers.

Bissonette turned to managing in the minor leagues in 1937 and by 1942 he had joined the Boston Braves farm system as pilot of their Class A Hartford club of the Eastern League. When Hartford won 99 games and the 1944 EL regular season pennant, Bissonette was promoted to a coaching job with Boston. After 93 games, with the 1945 Braves faltering and in seventh place in the National League, manager Bob Coleman was fired and Bissonette took the helm for the remainder of the season. His Braves won 25 and lost 34 (.424), improving to sixth, but the team lured the highly successful Billy Southworth from the St. Louis Cardinals to be its 1946 manager, and Bissonette moved on to the Pittsburgh Pirates, where he signed as a coach for 1946.

By 1947, Bissonette was back in the minor leagues as a manager with the Portland Pilots. He rose as high as the AAA Toronto Maple Leafs in 1949, but never managed again in the major leagues.

In the second edition of the Fireside Book of Baseball, the following verse immortalizes Bissonette:

The Dodgers have Del Bissonette;
No meal has he ever missed yet;
The question that rises
Is one that surprises:
Who paid for all Del Bissonette?

--L. H. Addington

Bissonette died at 72 in Augusta, Maine, from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

References

  • J.G. Taylor Spink, ed. The Baseball Register, 1946 edition. St. Louis: Charles C. Spink and Son.
  • The Deadball Era
Preceded by
Bob Coleman
Boston Braves Managers
1945
Succeeded by
Billy Southworth
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