Raise your hand if you know who Tommy Holmes is. I feel like a teacher sometimes on this site. It’s more of a history lesson, sports history that is. The older I get the more in tune with history I want to become. Maybe it’s a way to connect better with my father who grew up as a child in the 1940s or maybe it’s because at this age, I have just become more interested in history even if it is done at a rate of one player at a time. Either way, I know that it’s keeping me busy and entertained so I will continue to do it even if no one reads my blog.
Class, today’s subject is Tommy Holmes. Holmes played in the major leagues from 1942 – 1952. Seriously love the story behind him. He grew up in Brooklyn, and went to Brooklyn Tech. For those of you who don’t know this school, it is one of the premiere math and science high schools in the country. Meaning, Tommy was very smart. Also he was very gifted in athletics as well. The guy did one thing amazingly well, he could hit. Signed by (who else) the New York Yankees, he raked in nearly 1000 hits in the minors before finally being traded to a team that could actually use him. The Yanks at the time had an outfield of DiMaggio, Henrich, and Keller. All were All Stars, none would be moved to bring up Holmes, so he stewed in the minors way longer than he should have.
He was traded to the Boston Braves in 1942 where he became an immediate fixture in the outfield. His best years were from 1942 – 1948 where he hit on average 186 hits a season for a total of 1301 hits and a batting average of 0.308, leading the league twice in hits. In 1945 he batted 0.352 with 224 hits and 28 home runs and 47 doubles (all league leading) and finished second in NL MVP voting. He only played in one All Star game, however looking back at his career he was going up against Hall of Famers at the position he played. He would go on to manage for a few years in the minors, before stepping away from the game for a few years. He was lured back by the New York Mets in the early 70s as Director of Amateur Baseball Relations and would remain with the Mets for three decades.
Card No: VC-TH
Number of cards in the set: 8
Baseball Reference Stats: Tommy Holmes
Wikipedia page: Tommy Holmes
1950 Bowman Card: