Primary Position: Starting pitcher
Birthplace: Neuse, Wake County
First, Middle Names: William Andrew
Date of Birth: March 27, 1869 Date and Place of Death: Aug. 7, 1951, Raleigh, NC
Burial: Oakwood Cemetery, Raleigh
High School: Undetermined
College: Wake Forest University, Wake Forest, NC
Bats: R Throws: R Height and Weight: 5-11, 161
Debut Year: 1894 Final Year: 1894 Years Played: 1
Team and Year: Washington Senators, 1894
G W L Sv ERA IP SO WAR
1 0 1 0 6.75 8.0 2 -0.2
Bill Wynne was the first North Carolinian to pitch in the major leagues. Only outfielder Charley Jones of Alamance County preceded him to the majors – by about 20 years. Jones was a party-loving ladies’ man, known as the Knight of the Limitless Linen, and a superstar of early baseball. Wynne had a forgettable career that lasted all of eight innings. He didn’t hang around long enough to acquire a reputation or earn a nickname. If it centered on the baseball diamond, Wynne’s story would end about here. Baseball, however, was little more than a footnote in the life of this unconventional man.
Telephones and radios and, of all things, bicycles, play far larger roles in Wynne’s story. He was North Carolina’s most-famous cyclist of the 19th century, riding thousands of miles and capturing headlines wherever he went and thrilling audiences with daredevil stunts. A tinkerer with electricity since childhood, Wynne started a telephone company after his brief baseball career that provided some of the first phone service in Raleigh, North Carolina, and he waged a decades-long and, in the end, quixotic fight against his main competitor, the grasping monopoly that was Southern Bell. Wynne then operated the first radio station in the capital and in several Eastern North Carolina towns. Oh, and he also found time to open a drug store up in the mountains.