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Thread: This Will Make Some Of Us Feel Very Old

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    This Will Make Some Of Us Feel Very Old

    http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/ba...ead_at_71.html


    Former Yankee Tom Tresh dead at 71
    By BILL MADDEN

    Thursday, October 16th 2008, 4:00 AM

    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.

    "I got a call from his son, Greg (Wednesday) morning who told me Tommy had passed away at his home," said Johnny Blanchard, Tresh's Yankee teammate in the '60s. "He'd played golf the day before and complained about an ache in his back, but I guess he didn't think it was serious. He played a valuable role for those ballclubs of ours in the '60s and was just a terrific fellow. This is a sad day."

    When Kubek returned from the Army, Tresh moved to left field, where he flanked Mantle and Roger Maris in one of the best outfields the Yankees ever had. In 1966 he hit a career high 27 homers and led the American League in sacrifice flies. He also switch-hit homers in the same game three times that year. On June 6, 1965, Tresh hit four homers in a doubleheader against the White Sox.

    Tresh, whose father, Mike, was a catcher mainly with the Chicago White Sox from 1938-48, saw his career shortened after hurting his knee in spring training, 1967. Two years later, the Yankees traded him to the Detroit Tigers for outfielder Ron Woods and he retired after that season with a .245 average and 153 homers.

    "Tommy was just a wonderful guy and a real plus for us," said former Yankee second baseman Bobby Richardson. "Filling in for Tony the way he did in 1962 was so important. We couldn't have won that year without him. I always felt badly for him that he was always being compared with Mickey, just because he was a switch-hitting shortstop who moved to the outfield."

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