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Sloppy Thurston

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Hollis John Thurston (Sloppy)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 165 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Sloppy Thurston played nine seasons in the majors and was a twenty game winner for the Chicago White Sox in 1924.

Thurston joined the Salt Lake City Bees of the Pacific Coast League in 1920 and played with them for several years before reaching the majors with the St. Louis Browns in 1923. After about a month and two appearances with the club, Thurston was suspended by manager Lee Fohl for refusing to pitch batting practice during a series in Detroit. He was subsequently waived and claimed by the Chicago White Sox in May and went 7-8 as a rookie. The next year he won twenty games for the last place Sox, who only won 71 games overall, and led the American League by completing 28 games in 36 starts. However, he developed arm problems and had a sub-.500 record and an ERA over 5.00 in each of the next two seasons before being traded to the Washington Senators for Roger Peckinpaugh.

After one year with the Senators, Thurston joined the San Francisco Seals of the PCL in 1928. He went 9-7 for the club that year, while hitting .347 with 24 home runs and playing first base as well, and then posted a 22-11 mark in 1929. He then returned to the majors, playing four years for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In a game against the new York Giants on July 29, 1932, he tied a big league record by allowing six home runs. Following his major league days, he pitched in the PCL through 1938 for Mission and Oakland, as well as one year for Tacoma.

As pitchers go, Thurston was pretty good with the bat, hitting .270 lifetime in 648 at-bats with 38 doubles, 10 triples and 79 RBI.

After his playing days, Thurston was a minor league manager for one season, when he piloted the Tacoma Tigers to the championship of the Western International League. After that, he was a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1939 to 1945 and was credited with discovering Ralph Kiner. He also later scouted for the Cleveland Indians (1948-1950) and the White Sox (1951-1967).

Thurston earned his nickname "Sloppy" due to the fact that he was always, in fact, well groomed.

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