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Louis Eugene Bevil (born Bevilacqua; November 27, 1922 in Nelson, IL– d. February 1, 1973 in Dixon, IL) was a professional was a right-handed pitcher who appeared in four games in Major League Baseball in September of 1942 as a member of the Washington Senators. He was an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame.
Lou signed a professional baseball contract with the Washington Senators in 1940, joining the DeLand Red Hats of the Florida State League. Bevil was 11-21 in his rookie season and was 17-15 with the Thomasville Lookouts of the Georgia-Florida League in 1941.
In 1942, he moved up to Chattanooga in the Southern Association and his 13 wins earned him a late-season promotion to the Senators. Bevil – who worked as a railroad fireman during the off-season – was described by The Sporting News on May 28, 1942, as being “built like a blacksmith and [having] the unconquerable fighting spirit of a bulldog.”
At the age of 19, Lou was the second-youngest player in the American League in 1942. In his debut, he was the starting pitcher against the Chicago White Sox on September 2 at Griffith Stadium. But he registered only one out, and permitted four runs on four hits and one base on balls before being relieved by Bill Zuber. Bevil was charged with the eventual 7–6 defeat, his only MLB pitching decision.
He appeared in three more games, all in relief, before the end of the 1942 campaign. He then joined the United States Army for military service and spent the next three years (1943-1945) as a Tank Commander with the Army's 13th Armored Division during World War II.
He returned to professional baseball, but not the major leagues, in 1946. During his four-game stint with Washington in 1942, Lou allowed nine hits and 11 bases on balls in 9 2/3 innings pitched, posting an earned run average of 6.52. He was credited with two strikeouts. He played in the minors through 1950, where he won 100 games. He also was a player-manager for all or parts of three minor-league seasons.
While managing the Anniston Rams on July 3, 1950, Bevil was a passenger in a car crash near Alabama’s Coosa River on U.S. 78. Tony Smeraglia, a young second baseman for the club, several of his family members and Bevil were returning from the Smeraglia home in Birmingham when a truck struck their car. Smeraglia and two others died (including the driver of the truck who hit the car). Bevil was among the severely injured. The Rams’ game that night was canceled.
Bevil succumbed to cancer in Dixon, Illinois on February 1, 1973. He was only 50 years old.
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