BrownBears.com will feature one former male and female student-athlete each month who has gone on to achieve success in the workplace, as well as exhibit the spirit of Brown University within the community. The monthly installments will provide highlights of the selectees’ athletic careers at Brown and offer a glimpse into their current career paths.
Arguably one of Brown’s most successful athletes, Bill Almon ’75 boasts the distinction of being the only Ivy Leaguer to be drafted first overall in any of the four major professional sports. The Warwick, Rhode Island native was selected by the San Diego Padres with the first pick of the 1974 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, capping a stellar two-year varsity career on the Brown baseball team. Almon was also a letterwinner for the Brown basketball team during its 14-12 campaign in 1972-73.
Almon debuted in the majors with the Padres on September 2, 1974, becoming the first Brown alum to appear in a Major League game since Irving “Bump” Hadley played for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1941. Almon had brief stints in the majors before ultimately earning a starting role as a shortstop on the 1977 Padres squad, playing in 155 games while tallying a .261 batting average.
Following stops with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets, Almon enjoyed his finest campaign in the 1981 season after signing with the Chicago White Sox, batting .301 with 41 RBI in 103 games. For his efforts that season, Almon finished 19th in MVP voting, ahead of future hall of famer, George Brett.
Beginning in 1983 with the Oakland Athletics, Almon showed his versatility in the field, playing every position except pitcher and catcher while knocking in a career-high 63 runs that season. He closed out his 15-year professional career with stops in Pittsburgh, a second stint with the Mets, and Philadelphia for his final season in 1988.
In 1993, Almon returned to Providence for a three-year head coaching stint with the Brown varsity baseball team. Since leaving his baseball days behind, Almon has joined the family business, serving as the Vice President of Facilities and Receivables for Claflin Contract Furnishings, a manufacturer of contract furniture products. He is also an avid volunteer with the Special Olympics of Rhode Island, becoming an inductee into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2012.
Alumni and fans are encouraged to participate in the Alumni Spotlight nomination process by submitting nominees to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations should include: notable career achievements, current occupation, location, recent photos, and notable contributions to the community.