Not to be confused with his nephew of the same name, the elder Hallman was a fine second baseman during the late 1800s who ended his career shortly after the expansion of the American League. Hallman was a fine defensive second baseman who was often among the leaders in putouts and fielding percentage at the position.
Hallman made his debut with the Philadelphia Quakers in 1888 and served as a utilityman on Hall of Famer Harry Wright’s club. He became the Quakers regular shortstop in 1889 but when the Player’s League was adopted in 1890, Billy jumped the Quakers and signed with Philadelphia’s Player’s League entry. When the Player’s League folded after its lone season of operation, Billy joined the American Association’s Philadelphia entry: the Athletics.
In the American Association’s final year of operation, 1891, Hallman led the A’s in runs scored and base hits. But the AA was absorbed by the National League, which gave America one Major League circuit, and Billy found his way back to the National League with the Philadelphia Phillies. He enjoyed a fine season in 1892 when he drove in 84 runs, playing for Harry Wright once again.
Beginning in 1892, Billy’s batting average steadily rose. In 1893, he hit .307 and then his mark climbed to .312 in 1894. 1894 also marked a four-year string of 100 runs scored for Billy. Although he never scored 100 runs in a season again, Billy’s batting averages kept climbing the ladder. In 1895 he hit .314 and in 1986 he hit .320. However, the Phillies kept falling in the standings as they creeped down to eighth place in ’96.
Midway through the 1897 season the Phillies dealt Billy to the Cardinals for Tommy Dowd. His career became nomadic with stops in Brooklyn and Cleveland before he rejoined the Phillies in 1901. Billy served as a valuable veteran bench presence with the Phillies through the 1903 season.
G 1,507/R 942/H 1,641/2B 235/3B 83/HR 21/RBI 772/SB 201/BA .272/SA .349/OBP .326