Former Phils Hurler, Pueblo Dodgers pilot James N. Bivin dies
James N. Bivin, a former major league baseball player and long-time minor league player, died after a brief illness Sunday at Parkview Episcopal Hospital.
Gentleman Jim Bivin, as he was known, was born on Dec. 11, 1909, in Jackson, Miss. He had been recovering from a mild heart attach which occurred about a month ago. He suffered another apparent heart attack on Sunday.
Bivin played only one year in the major leagues, as a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies. However, that season was an eventful year for him.
Bivin, a righthander, was the last pitcher to face Babe Ruth, before the Boston Braves released Ruth on June 2 of that year. Bivin also pitched in the first night game in baseball history.
Bivin's record for 1935 ranked him third in the league in the number of games pitched. He started 14 games, pitched in 161.2 innings, had a won-loss record of 2-9 with one save and an earned run average of 5.79. The Phillies finished seventh that year with a 64-89 record under manager Jimmy Wilson.
Bivin then became a manager, spending 23 years in the minor leagues, including the 1951 season as pilot of the Pueblo Dodgers.
He won three straight Cotton States League pennants with the Greenwood Dodgers in the late 1940s before moving up to Danville, Ill., where his club finished second in the Three-I League in 1950.
Bivin's 1951 Dodgers had an up and down season. Bivin knew the key to the season was pitching. And early in the year, with fresh pitching and standout Elroy Face winning regularly, the Dodgers climbed into a tie for the lead.
As the season grew-on, however, the pitching became a problem and the Dodgers limped home third with a 74-89 record.
Adrian Comer Funeral Home is in charge of funeral arrangements.