Bill "Snake" Siddle     

Snake Siddle

William (Bill) "Snake" Siddle

Born : 13 April, 1894, Stratford, Ontario
Died : 11 November, 1976

Inducted into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, 2006

"Bill "Snake" Siddle was without question the greatest baseball player ever developed in Winnipeg.

That was the opinion expressed by oldtimers upon learning of the death … at age 81 of the man whose brilliant play entertained Winnipeggers in the days when the old Senior Baseball League flourished at Wesley Park."  [Winnipeg Free Press, 1976]

Siddle was an outstanding pitcher, shortstop and third baseman whose baseball talents graced Winnipeg playing fields for nearly forty years. 

He was first noticed by the local papers playing junior ball for the Norwoods in 1909. He made his debut with the Arenas in 1911 and with the exception of four seasons, was a mainstay of the club for 14 years through to 1928. He also played with the Elmwood Giants, the Catholic Club, the Winnipeg Old Timers, Winnipeg All-Stars, Toronto Oslers and, at the end of his playing career, touring with the famous House of David. He missed the 1918 season while stationed in England with the Canadian Army and was suspended from amateur ball for most of the 1916 season for having playing a little semi-pro ball south of the border.

As an umpire his career extended into the 1930s and late 1940s. In 1935 he was the umpire in the famous pitching duel between Negro League legends Satchel Paige and Chet Brewer at Osborne Stadium. The 1-0 thriller produced 30 strikeouts, 17 by Paige.  In 2005, a panel of experts selected Siddle as the shortstop on Manitoba’s all-time All-Star squad.  

In 1927, Siddle was so well-known locally that he was part of a Honey Boy Ice Cream set of baseball cards, mixing local players with major leaguers. Siddle was #5. Babe Ruth was #14.