Illinois legislators honor ex-Sox pitcher Pierce

Illinois legislators honor ex-Sox pitcher Pierce

Illinois legislators honor ex-Sox pitcher Pierce
The Illinois House of Representatives honored former White Sox pitcher Billy Pierce on Wednesday with a resolution declaring it "Billy Pierce Day" in the state of Illinois.

A seven-time All-Star, Pierce, 85, spent 13 seasons (1949-61) with Chicago, tallying 186 victories and a franchise-record 1,796 strikeouts. The southpaw won 20 games in consecutive seasons in 1956 and '57 and totaled at least nine wins in all but his first season with the White Sox.

"No one is more deserving of today's recognition than Billy Pierce," said White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf. "While Billy was one of the all-time White Sox greats on the diamond, he also is a legend off the field through his endless contributions to others and to those in the community in greatest need."

Pierce tossed four scoreless innings in relief during the 1959 World Series, which Chicago lost to the Dodgers. Chicago traded Pierce to the Giants following the 1961 season. He retired after the 1964 campaign, having piled up 211 career wins.

During his post-playing career, Pierce served as an ambassador for the White Sox and an advocate for the Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities, which has raised more than $13 million for cancer patient care, education and research programs since 1971.

"We are excited to be honoring Mr. Pierce in Springfield today," said Rep. Tom Cross. "He is an icon in Chicago, not only for his amazing talent on the mound, but also for his extensive charity work."

Zack Meisel is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @zackmeisel. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.