Billy Hitchcock, former major league infielder for five different teams as well as the former manager of Detroit (for two games), Baltimore, and Atlanta, has passed away at age 89 at his home in Arkansas.
Hitchcock was a star in both baseball and football while attending Auburn University and the baseball stadium at Auburn is called Hitchcock Field in his honor.
In 1950, Hitchcock grounded into 30 double plays to lead the majors. And Hithcock had only 399 at bats that season. 30 GIDPs in one season has only been reached 14 times in big league history. It was first done by Ernie Lombardi in 1938. Bobby Doerr had 31 in 1949. Jackie Jensen hit into 32 in 1954 and that mark was unchallenged until 1984 when Jim Rice hit into 36 double plays, which is still the major league record.
The only NL players to ever ground into 30 DPs in a season were Lombardi and Brad Ausmus in 2002.