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Biographie De Billy Sunday (document en anglais)

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I am born the November 19, 1862 near to Ames in Iowa. My father was the son of German immigrants named Sonntag, who Anglicized their name to "Sunday" when they settled in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. William Sunday, my dad, was a bricklayer who worked his way to Iowa, where he married my mom, Mary Jane Core.

When I was ten years old, my impoverished mother sent my older brother and me to the Soldiers' Orphans Home in Glenwood, Iowa, and later to the Iowa Soldiers' Orphans' Home in Davenport, Iowa. At the orphanage, I gained orderly habits, a decent primary education, and the realization that I was a good athlete.

In 1880, I relocated to Marshalltown, Iowa, where, because of my athleticism, I had been recruited for a fire brigade team. In Marshalltown, I worked at odd jobs, competed in fire brigade tournaments, and played for the town baseball team. In 1882, with me in left field, the Marshalltown team defeated the state champion Des Moines team 13-4.

My professional baseball career was launched by Adrian "Cap" Anson, a Marshalltown native and future Hall of Famer, after his aunt, an avid fan of the Marshalltown team, gave him an enthusiastic account of my prowess. In 1883, on Anson's recommendation, A.G. Spalding, president of the Chicago White Stockings, signed me to the defending National League champions.

My speed was my greatest asset, and I displayed it on the base paths and in the outfield. In 1885, the White Stockings arranged a race between me and Arlie Latham, the fastest runner in the Association. And of course I won the hundred-yard dash by about ten feet.

My personality, demeanor, and athleticism made him popular with the fans, as well as with his teammates

During the winter in 1888 season I was sold to the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. I was their starting center fielder, playing a full season for the first time in my career because before i was always getting injured during the season. I performed well in center field and was among the league leaders in stolen bases. By August 1890 the team had no money to meet my payroll, and I was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for two players and $1,000 in cash what was a lot for this period.

On a Sunday afternoon in Chicago during either the 1886 or 1887 baseball season, I and several of my teammates were out on the town for our day off. At one street corner we stopped to listen to a gospel preaching team from the Pacific Garden Mission. Attracted by the hymns I heard, I began attending services at the mission. A former society matron who worked there convinced me, after some struggle, that I should become a Christian.. Following my conversion, I denounced drinking, swearing, and gambling. I shortly thereafter began speaking in churches and at YMCAs.

In 1886, I was introduced at Jefferson Park Presbyterian Church to Helen Amelia Thompson, daughter of the owner of one of Chicago's largest dairy products businesses. Although I was immediately smitten with her, both we had serious on-going relationships that bordered on engagements. We get married on September 5, 1888.

In the spring of 1891, I turned down a baseball contract for $3,000 a year to accept a position with the Chicago YMCA at $83 per month. My job title at the YMCA was Assistant Secretary, yet the position involved a great deal of ministerial work. For three years I visited the sick,


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