William "Wild Bill" Hickman

Born in Warren County, Kentucky, Bill Hickman has been known all his life for his fierce intellect and fiery temper. Seeing need of an outlet for his son's excess of energy and emotion, Hickman's father began to steer his son into sports at a very early age. While excelling at both football and baseball, it was his love of the latter that dominated his life.

While coming up through the minor leagues he met another young player named Rockwell Porter. They quickly discovered a common affinity for drinking, fighting, and women. Activities usually indulged in during the same evening. While his skills were undeniable, his temper often caused him much trouble, and most likely prevented him from being called up to the majors as quickly as his friend.

After Porter was called up to the Utah Arches, Hickman became the team’s captain and his aggressive style of play earned him the nickname "Wild Bill." He would argue with umpires, opposing players, fans, even his own teammates at times. During one game he slugged an umpire after being called out stealing second base. Fans jumped onto the field, and Wild Bill fought them as well. The police broke up the brawl and arrested Hickman right in the middle of the game. During one infamous incident, after being heckled by a fan, he promptly jumped into the stands and attacked the heckler, injuring his own hand in the process.

Despite all this, he eventually joined his friend on the Arches, and played with that team for six years before being traded.

Hickman enjoyed five more years in the majors until an injury forced his retirement, but it was his tenure at the Arches that he is most remembered for as a player. His best year during that period saw him batting .368, with 103 RBIs, 30 doubles, and 43 stolen bases. He would hit under 299 only once in those six years (.267).

Years later, when Rockwell Porter became General Manager of the (re-formed) Arches organization, he named his lifelong friend as the manager of their minor league team, then known as the Lightning. It was during this time that his penchant for berating umpires and trading players earned him a new nickname from the press. They often claimed that he was only able to retain his position as manager due to his friendship with Porter, and hung the name "Porter's destroying angel" on him. Hickman and Porter decided to embrace the name, and officially renamed the team to the Destroying Angels.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License