Billy Sunday - Baseball Players, Life Achievements and Childhood

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Billy Sunday's Personal Details

Billy Sunday was a popular baseball player before he became an influential evangelist in America

InformationDetail
BirthdayNovember 19, 1862
Died onNovember 6, 1935
NationalityAmerican
FamousRepublicans, Sportspersons, Baseball Players
IdeologiesRepublicans
SpousesHelen Thompson Sunday (m. 1888)
Childrens George Marquis Sunday, Helen Edith Sunday, Paul Thompson Sunday, William Ashley Sunday Jr.
Universities
  • Nevada High School
Birth PlaceStory County, Iowa, U.S
Political IdeologyRepublican
ReligionEvangelical Christian
GenderMale
FatherWilliam Sunday
MotherMary Jane Corey
Net Worth$1.5 million
Sun SignScorpio
Born inStory County, Iowa, U.S
Died at Age72

// Famous Sportspersons

Billy Sunday's photo

Who is Billy Sunday?

Billy Sunday was best known for his participation in the baseball National League during the 19th century and his agility on field. Despite coming from a financially weak family, he did not let his humble economic condition overpower his life and managed to make his way to the field, doing all sorts of odds jobs in between. As an athlete and a major league participant, he was dexterous, passionate and extremely lithe when it came to base-running and hitting. What stunned fans around the world was his sudden adoption of evangelical Christianity in the 20th century and his eventual digression from the sport he loved so much. As an evangelist, he was celebrated for his dramatic sermons and feverish oratory skills; one that attracted thousands of followers from around America, when there were limited or no sound systems. He was also a regular at social events, where he became popular among the wealthy and the influential. Through his long and fruitful career, he preached to over one million people head-on and even though his popularity diminished towards the final years of his life, he is still considered one of the most influential American evangelists.

// Famous Baseball Players

Childhood & Early Life

William Ashley ‘Billy’ Sunday was born to William Sunday and Mary Jane Corey, near Ames, Iowa. After the death of his father in 1862, his family moved to live with his grandparents for a few years.

Billy and his elder brother were sent to live in Soldiers’ Orphans’ Home in Davenport, where he received a decent primary education and also began to hone his athletic skills.

At the age of 14, with a will to earn money of his own, he started working under Colonel John Scott. Soon, he was offered a home with the Scotts, who made sure that Billy studied at Nevada High School.

Despite not receiving a high school diploma, he was already considered well-educated by the standards of others, by 1880.

He moved to Marshalltown in 1880, where he was employed with the fire brigade team for his athletic build. It was during this time that he began playing for fire brigade baseball tournaments and eventually joined the town’s baseball team. His first match was two years later, where the town team defeated the Des Moines team.

Career

His professional baseball career began in 1883, when he signed with the Chicago White Stockings, a National League team.

Initially, he started off as a part-time player, but was soon recognized for his speed and by 1887, made a regular right fielder. However, an unfortunate injury limited his games to about 50.

For the 1888 season, he was sold to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys team. This was the first time that he played the whole season. The crowds in Pittsburgh took to his prowess on the field, thus creating a large fan base.

In 1890, he was named the team captain of the Pittsburg Alleghenys, but with a bad season, the team could not afford him and he was, thus, sold to the Philadelphia Phillies, with whom he played a total of 31 games.

In 1891, he was released from his contract with the Philadelphia Ball Club, but still remained one of the greatest baseball players in the United States. In his best season, he ranked 17th in the league and had hit .291.

Meanwhile, he started attending the Christian services at the mission and soon converted himself to become a Christian. Shortly thereafter, he gave up swearing, drinking and gambling.

It was in 1891 that he turned down a baseball contract and instead accepted a position with the Chicago YMCA.

In 1893, he became an assistant to J. Wilbur Chapman, one of the most influential evangelists. He received a course in homiletics and turned to the pastorate three years later.

He was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in 1903. The next decade witnessed Sunday’s popularity rise by leaps and bounds. Such was his escalating popularity that his followers failed to accommodate in town halls and churches.

Just as his fan base expanded, so did the administration responsibilities. In 1908, he entrusted all the campaign and administrative responsibilities to his wife, Nell Sunday. It was under her administration that his campaign became a prominent national phenomenon.

By 1910, he regularly conducted meetings in relatively smaller cities in the United States. However, in the next five years, he moved his meetings to the more commercial cities of the country including Boston, Buffalo, Detroit and even New York City.

By 1917, he had become extremely popular among the rich and affluent and was invited to events by politicians like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and even personalities like Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.

Even during the Great Depression of 1929, he managed to pull large crowds to attend his preaching and sermons through his campaigns. However, his campaigns had started to become insipid and his popularity slowly began to fade post-World War I.

Through his evangelist career from 1896 to 1935, Sunday preached about 20,000 sermons.

Awards & Achievements

He received the National League Pennant for baseball, for two consecutive years - 1885 and 1886.

Personal Life & Legacy

He met Helen Amelia ‘Nell’ Thompson at a time when both of them were in serious relationships respectively. However, just as they say destiny plays a part of its own, the two eventually broke off their relationships to unite with each other.

Financial differences did not come in between as the two eventually tied the knot on September 5, 1888. They were blessed with four children, three sons and a daughter

In 1935, he suffered a heart attack. Though the doctors advised him to be cautious about preaching with such delicate health, he paid no heed and continued to preach. He breathed his last on November 6 of the same year.

His obituary described him as ‘the greatest high-pressure, mass conversion Christian evangelist of America or the world has ever known’.

Trivia

Not many people know that this famous American evangelist, who was also a league baseball player, was an ardent supporter of World War I.

This American evangelist scoffed at popular amusements such as dancing, theater, playing cards and even reading. However, he believed that baseball was a nationalistic form of entertainment and that it should be pursued.

// Famous Republicans

Billy Sunday biography timelines

  • // 13th Nov 1862
    William Ashley ‘Billy’ Sunday was born to William Sunday and Mary Jane Corey, near Ames, Iowa. After the death of his father in 1862, his family moved to live with his grandparents for a few years.
  • // 1880
    Despite not receiving a high school diploma, he was already considered well-educated by the standards of others, by 1880.
  • // 1880
    He moved to Marshalltown in 1880, where he was employed with the fire brigade team for his athletic build. It was during this time that he began playing for fire brigade baseball tournaments and eventually joined the town’s baseball team. His first match was two years later, where the town team defeated the Des Moines team.
  • // 1883
    His professional baseball career began in 1883, when he signed with the Chicago White Stockings, a National League team.
  • // 1885 To 1886
    He received the National League Pennant for baseball, for two consecutive years - 1885 and 1886.
  • // 1887
    Initially, he started off as a part-time player, but was soon recognized for his speed and by 1887, made a regular right fielder. However, an unfortunate injury limited his games to about 50.
  • // 1888
    For the 1888 season, he was sold to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys team. This was the first time that he played the whole season. The crowds in Pittsburgh took to his prowess on the field, thus creating a large fan base.
  • // 5th Sep 1888
    Financial differences did not come in between as the two eventually tied the knot on September 5, 1888. They were blessed with four children, three sons and a daughter
  • // 1890
    In 1890, he was named the team captain of the Pittsburg Alleghenys, but with a bad season, the team could not afford him and he was, thus, sold to the Philadelphia Phillies, with whom he played a total of 31 games.
  • // 1891
    In 1891, he was released from his contract with the Philadelphia Ball Club, but still remained one of the greatest baseball players in the United States. In his best season, he ranked 17th in the league and had hit .291.
  • // 1891
    It was in 1891 that he turned down a baseball contract and instead accepted a position with the Chicago YMCA.
  • // 1893
    In 1893, he became an assistant to J. Wilbur Chapman, one of the most influential evangelists. He received a course in homiletics and turned to the pastorate three years later.
  • // 1896 To 1935
    Through his evangelist career from 1896 to 1935, Sunday preached about 20,000 sermons.
  • // 1903
    He was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in 1903. The next decade witnessed Sunday’s popularity rise by leaps and bounds. Such was his escalating popularity that his followers failed to accommodate in town halls and churches.
  • // 1908
    Just as his fan base expanded, so did the administration responsibilities. In 1908, he entrusted all the campaign and administrative responsibilities to his wife, Nell Sunday. It was under her administration that his campaign became a prominent national phenomenon.
  • // 1910
    By 1910, he regularly conducted meetings in relatively smaller cities in the United States. However, in the next five years, he moved his meetings to the more commercial cities of the country including Boston, Buffalo, Detroit and even New York City.
  • // 1917
    By 1917, he had become extremely popular among the rich and affluent and was invited to events by politicians like Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson and even personalities like Douglas Fairbanks, Sr.
  • // 1929
    Even during the Great Depression of 1929, he managed to pull large crowds to attend his preaching and sermons through his campaigns. However, his campaigns had started to become insipid and his popularity slowly began to fade post-World War I.
  • // 6th Nov 1935
    In 1935, he suffered a heart attack. Though the doctors advised him to be cautious about preaching with such delicate health, he paid no heed and continued to preach. He breathed his last on November 6 of the same year.

// Famous American

Billy Sunday's FAQ

  • What is Billy Sunday birthday?

    Billy Sunday was born at 1862-11-19

  • When was Billy Sunday died?

    Billy Sunday was died at 1935-11-06

  • Where was Billy Sunday died?

    Billy Sunday was died in Forest Home Cemetery, Chicago

  • Which age was Billy Sunday died?

    Billy Sunday was died at age 72

  • Where is Billy Sunday's birth place?

    Billy Sunday was born in Story County, Iowa, U.S

  • What is Billy Sunday nationalities?

    Billy Sunday's nationalities is American

  • What is Billy Sunday ideologies?

    Billy Sunday's ideologies is Republicans

  • Who is Billy Sunday spouses?

    Billy Sunday's spouses is Helen Thompson Sunday (m. 1888)

  • Who is Billy Sunday childrens?

    Billy Sunday's childrens is George Marquis Sunday, Helen Edith Sunday, Paul Thompson Sunday, William Ashley Sunday Jr.

  • What was Billy Sunday universities?

    Billy Sunday studied at Nevada High School

  • What is Billy Sunday's political ideology?

    Billy Sunday's political ideology is Republican

  • What is Billy Sunday's religion?

    Billy Sunday's religion is Evangelical Christian

  • Who is Billy Sunday's father?

    Billy Sunday's father is William Sunday

  • Who is Billy Sunday's mother?

    Billy Sunday's mother is Mary Jane Corey

  • What is Billy Sunday's sun sign?

    Billy Sunday is Scorpio