Thursday, October 16, 2008

Another Old Yankee is Gone: Tom Tresh Dead at 71


The title pretty much says it all. I know Tresh and Mickey Mantle were very close, and Tommy had a fine career.

From Bill Madden in the Daily News.
Tom Tresh, who burst onto the big-league scene in 1962 and won Rookie of the Year honors as a fill-in shortstop for the Yankees after Tony Kubek was called into military service, died Wednesday at his home in Venice, Fla., of a heart attack. He was 71.

The switch-hitting Tresh, who drew unfair comparisons to Mickey Mantle that he could never live up to after his standout first season in which he hit .286 with 20 homers, 93 RBI and 94 runs scored, was nevertheless a Yankee fixture in the waning years of their five-decade dynasty. In three World Series, 1962-64, he hit .277 with four homers and 13 RBI in 18 games, including a two-run homer off Sandy Koufax in the 1963 opener. In the 1962 Series against the Giants, he hit a game-winning three-run homer in Game 5 and in Game7, he made a great catch in left field to rob Willie Mays of an extra-base hit to help preserve the 1-0 clinching Yankee win.

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2 comments:

CLAMBELLY said...

Tresh was one of my favorites. I played all my little league ball in the shadow of Yankee Stadium--literally in the shadow, at McComb's Dam Park, now the site of the new Yankee Stadium. One can imagine that, before or after practice (or games) we had occasion to wait at the players parking lot entrance and wait for the players to maybe grace us with a word of acknowledgment or perhaps an autograph. The nicest players of the early 60s teams always included Yogi, Maris, Whitey and Blanchard, as well as Hector Lopez and, come '62, a rookie named Tom Tresh. He had a permanent sneer that could make you think that he was going to be snippy, but generally spoke directly to you, which was cool, and I decided that the sneer was merely a squint--you know, from the sun. You could tell he was doing his James Dean thing, but he was friendly. Richardson was very nice, but quiet and usually only smiled and looked away. Mantle...well, let's just say we didn't know he was hung over, so he gets the benefit of the doubt that he would have been friendlier if he had felt better? It's tough to see your idols crumble into mere mortality. He was my hero, but ol' #7 was not the friendliest guy on most days, but on select few days he could be rather warm. Truth is, they all seemed to like the kids okay, but had no patience whatsoever for the adults, who actually "used" us kids to gain proximity to the team. The players would have been far nicer to us had the creepy grownups not been so pushy. The '60-'64 gang was a pretty good bunch to us. Tresh and Maris, though, were the coolest. During the '61 season, Maris actually noticed that I'd gotten a drastic haircut and from that moment on, he would point at me and say "Haircut!" Soon, he had Tresh calling me that too. I was thrilled that they noticed me at all. RIP, Rookie

CLAMBELLY said...

Tresh was one of my favorites. I played all my little league ball in the shadow of Yankee Stadium--literally in the shadow, at McComb's Dam Park, now the site of the new Yankee Stadium. One can imagine that, before or after practice (or games) we had occasion to wait at the players parking lot entrance and wait for the players to maybe grace us with a word of acknowledgment or perhaps an autograph. The nicest guys of the early 60s teams always included Yogi, Maris, Whitey and Blanchard, as well as Hector Lopez and, come '62, Tom Tresh. Tresh and Maris, though, were the coolest--as long as no grownups were around. RIP, Rookie