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RIP Tommy Holmes

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  • RIP Tommy Holmes

    RIP - Tommy Holmes, 91. I met him on two occasions and he was a really gracious former player.

    Tommy Holmes, an outfielder for the Boston Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s and 1950s, died Monday. He was 91.

    BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Tommy Holmes, who hit in 37 consecutive games in 1945 to set a modern National League record that stood until it was broken by Pete Rose, died Monday. He was 91.

    Tommy Holmes had a .302 batting average, 88 home runs and 581 RBIs in 11 years in the majors.

    Holmes died of natural causes at an assisted living facility, daughter Patricia Stone said.

    Holmes' hitting streak came while he played for the Boston Braves and is the ninth longest in major-league history. Rose hit in 44 in a row in 1978, the post-1900 NL mark.

    In 11 years in the majors with the Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers, Holmes had a .302 batting average, 88 home runs and 581 RBIs. From 1973 to 2003, he worked for the New York Mets as director of amateur baseball relations.

    "Tommy Holmes was one of our sport's truest gentlemen," said Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets. "His passion for the game and up-and-coming players, along with his 30-year association with our franchise, was unsurpassed."

    Stone said her father loved baseball and watched games until the end of his life.

    "When he played baseball, there would be days he'd leave early and he'd pass children playing and he'd stop to play with them," she said.

    Besides his daughter, Holmes is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Lillian Petterson; a son, Tommy Holmes Jr.; two sisters; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

    Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
    Baseball Happenings
    - Linking baseball's past, present and future.

  • #2
    Sad news. I didn't realize he was the NL record holder for hitting in consecutive games until Rose.


    • #3
      Tommy started playing professionally at an early age. When he was aboiut 16, he played for a team that was playing against a Negro team in Washington Park or some other old field. He was playing the outfield when Josh gibson hit a real long fly which Tommy chased down and caught. When he came to bat the next inning, Gibson asked him how far that ball had travelled and he told him it had gone about 400 feet. Gibson swore up nd down and said that ball should have gone 450 feet. When Tommy got back to the dugout he told the manager about this conversation and the manager said. "that is why we freeze the balls". And he pointed to a bucket of ice where balls were kept which were used to pitch to the great players on the Negro team. This story was told by Tommy himself to me and others some years ago. He loved baseball and he was a fine man.

      Incidently, Tommy always claimed that there was a Boston Braves deal with O"Malley for a trade which would have Hodges going to Boston (where Tommy was) in 1951, but the day after the handshake on the deal, Hodges hit two homers and won the game against the Braves, so O'Malley backed out of the deal.


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