Farewell, Tom Tresh

Bleacher Report Senior Writer IOctober 16, 2008

Great Yankees outfielder Tom Tresh was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1937. As a 25-year old rookie, he won Rookie of the Year. As a rookie, he had 20 homers, 93 RBI and a .286 batting average for the World Series Champion Yankees. He was in an outfield that featured Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.

His performance as a rookie got him lots of hype, but he didn't even get close to Mantle. He steadily got worse, the polar opposite of Mantle.

He hit 25 homers in his second season in 1963, but only had 71 RBI and had a .269 batting average. But, everyone knew he indeed wouldn't be the next Mickey Mantle.

Three times Tresh switch-hit homers in the same game. The only other AL player to do that was Mantle, ironically.

In 1965, he won a Gold Glove award as a center fielder. The next year, he hit a career high 27 home runs, but really took one for the team by leading the American League in sacrifice flies, with seven.

However, his RBI total continued to plummet. His 93 as a rookie was a career high. From 1961 to 1969, his RBI totals were 71, 73, 74, 68, 53, 52 and 46.

Tresh was always consistent power-wise. His career low was 11 and when he was traded to the Detroit Tigers, he was very happy.

He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He was immediately a fan favorite and loving it. He didn't play like an ordinary fan favorite.

For Detroit, he hit just .224 with 13 homers and 37 RBI. In a nine year career, he hit just .245, but had 153 RBI and 530 runs batted in. That made his average exactly 17 per season.

Tresh was a two time All Star in 1962 and 1963. His dad, Mike, played catcher for the Detroit Tigers and hit .249 with 297 RBI in 12 seasons in very limited time. He also played for the Cleveland Indians in 1949.

After struggling for Detroit, Tom retired after a short career. His contributions after his playing career include the "Slide-Rite", a training tool to teach proper sliding in baseball, football and soccer.

Ge also served as an assistant placement director at a schhol right down the street from his house, Central Michigan University.

Sadly, the Tom Tresh story came to an end today, when he died of a heart attack in Venice, Florida.

Tresh is not one of the Yankee legends, but was a major contributor to the Yanks during the 1960's. He contributed to the Yankees and was on a team that won a world series and two pennants.

We'll miss you, Tom.


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