GVBA is sad to report the passing of a Victoria baseball legend. Bill Prior was a Victoria Sports Hall of Fame inductee for his years of play and service to baseball here in Victoria and he sadly died on Tuesday April 14th, 2015.
A true "diamond" on the diamond, Bill Prior was one of the greatest baseball players to come out of Victoria. He was a lanky pitcher who could throw a hot ball from the mound began playing senior amateur ball with Pitzer & Nex at the tender age of 16. The Second World War prevented him from turning pro but he threw for the Army team during the war and he wasn't bad with the bat either. He hit a remarkable .773 for the soldier's team in 1944 and in the following year, Bill helped lead the Canadian Army team in Europe to the overseas league title as a star reliever.
At age 25 he started a nine-season career of pro ball with the Victoria Athletics and Tyees franchises at Royal Athletic Park from 1946 to 1954. He was a crowd favourite and was instrumental in helping the Tyees win the Western International League pennant in 1952. After his years as a player, Bill continued his love affair with the sport by becoming a yeoman coach and fund-raiser for youth baseball in Victoria.