WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gallaudet University freshman outfielder William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) joined the Danville (Ill.) Dans of the Prospect League, a summer collegiate wood bat league, recently and has seen action in four games thus far. The Dans will play a 60 plus game schedule that began on June 2 and will conclude with the league championship game on August 10, if they qualify. The Dans are currently 6-7 and Bissell is 0-for-10 at the plate with one walk.
Bissell is one of a handful of freshmen on the team as the Dans have players from powerhouse collegiate teams such as LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Pepperdine University and University of San Diego. Bissell is the reigning North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) West Division Player of the Year and was selected to the all-conference first team, the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA Division III All-American third team and All-South Region first team.
Bissell led Gallaudet to its best season as a program as the Bison recorded a record of 18-24 breaking the program wins mark of 16 set back in 1899. GU made its debut in the NEAC where it posted a winning record (8-6) and was the No. 3 seed in the NEAC West Division tournament. Bissell, a red-shirt freshman, had his 2010 season cut short due to a season ending injury.
He led the entire NEAC/North Atlantic Conference (NAC) in seven different statistical offensive categories as of May 24. He was first in batting average (.438), slugging percentage (.711), on base percentage (.547), RBI (41), doubles (15), triples (four) and total bases (91). The freshman was also second in home runs (four), hits (56), fourth in walks (24), sixth in runs (33) and hit by pitch (eight). Bissell was also ranked nationally by the NCAA for Division III in many different categories as of May 31 including on base percentage (10th overall), batting average (22nd), slugging percentage (28th), triples (68th), doubles (74th), total bases (108th) and RBI (112th). Bissell also swiped 14 bases out of 19 chances as he started all 42 games. In the field he made 124 putouts, collected eight assists and posted a .964 fielding percentage.
The Prospect League, formerly known as the Central Illinois Collegiate League (CICL), has had 175 players make a Major League Baseball roster since the 1960's. Most notably Hall of Famers Kirby Puckett and Mike Schmidt along with other current and former MLB All-Stars Gary Gaetti, Joe Girardi, Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon and Dan Quisenberry to name a few. Papelbon played for Danville in 2001 along with Minnesota Twins catcher Matt Tolbert. Florida Marlins' Chris Coglin played for the Dans in 2004 and a year later Mitch Moreland played in Danville, Ill., before making it in the majors with the Texas Rangers.
Danville Stadium opened in 1946 and was the minor league affiliate with the Brooklyn Dodgers and later the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Pee Wee Reese and Gil Hodges and the rest of the Dodgers came to Danville on June 20, 1947 to play an exhibition game with the minor league affiliate. The Danville Dans took up residency at the stadium in 1989. The Dans have won seven league titles, most recently in 2000. This year marks the 65th anniversary for the stadium. For more information on the Danville Dans please visit its website – www.danvilledans.org.
Update (6/23/11): Bissell is no longer on the Danville Dans according to the team's website.