The Chicago White Sox paid a hefty 3,000 price tag to get Bill Cissell onto their ballclub in 1928, acquiring him from Portland of the Pacific Coast League. Cissell first played organized baseball while he was in the U.S. Army in the early 1920s. In 1925, the Des Moines club in the Western League paid his way out of the military and secured him for their infield. Cissell was a favorite of manager Donie Bush, who skippered the ChiSox in 1930-31. But Cissell’s best season came the year after Bush was relieved, in 1932 when he hit .315 with 184 hits, 36 doubles, 7 triples, and 7 home runs. He finished 11th that season in American League MVP voting as he split time between second base and shortstop. Early in the ’32 campaign he was traded by Chicago to Cleveland, which began a series of hop stops around the American League.
Cissell was known as “Spider Bill” because of the way he scampered across the infield from his defensive position.