William Amos (Billy) Sample (April 2, 1955-  ) is a former professional baseball player, from 1978-86, principally, with the Texas Rangers, with a final year each with the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves.  Sample was born in Roanoke, Virginia and aside from two early childhood years in Brooklyn, New York, was raised in nearby Salem, Virginia.  Billy lettered in three sports in high school, was on the debate team his freshman year, acted in two plays his junior year, and was subsequently voted, Most Versatile by his graduating class.  Sample was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 28th round in 1973, did not sign, attended James Madison University, was drafted again after his junior year, by area scout, Joe Branzell, and the Texas Rangers, this time in the 10th round.  After minor league stops in Sarasota, Tulsa and Tucson, Sample made his major league debut as a September call-up, singling on his first pitch.  He finished with a career average of .272, with 1983 being his best year of note, finishing fifth in stolen bases (44 of 52) as well as sixth in power-speed numbers.  Billy often jokes that he was too staunch for his own good as a union man, as he was a player representative with the Rangers, an alternate rep with the Yankees and a five year licensing committee member, and he touts the late Marvin Miller as his most admired person.  After his playing days, Sample was a journalist/broadcaster, with articles in the New York Times, the National Sports Daily and Sports Illustrated, in addition to being one of the columnists at the inception of Baseball Weekly (Sports Weekly).  As a broadcaster, Billy has worked for CBS radio, California Angels radio, Seattle Mariners T.V. and ESPN.  More recently, Sample wrote a screenplay that took top honors at the Hoboken Film Festival in 2011, and he’s made it into a movie, to be released in the spring of 2013, titled, Reunion 108

Billy Sample

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