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Thurman Tucker

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Thurman Lowell Tucker (Joe E.)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Eighteen year old Thurman Tucker started his pro baseball career in 1947 as an unattached outfielder with the Siloam Springs Travelers of the class D Arkansas-Missouri League. The young outfielder came up with a .319 batting average with eight homers in 117 games to help his team win the league pennant and the playoff title. Tucker would spend seven seasons in the minors before the Chicago White Sox took a short look at him in 1942.

He had several good years on the way up, hitting .298 in 136 games for the Clarksdale Red Sox in the Cotton States League in 1939 and would lead that same league in hitting and base thefts in 1940 with a .390 average while stealing 36 bases. In 1941 with Oklahoma City of the Texas League he had another league leading 40 stolen bases and would come back with the Fort Worth Cats of the same league in 1942 and hit for a .313 average while leading the league with 116 runs scored and also the leader with 34 base thefts and tied for the league lead with 10 triples.

Thurman would be a .255 hitter in nine big league seasons with the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians from 1942 to 1951. An outstanding defensive outfielder with good speed who had 29 stolen bases for the White Sox in 1943, his first full season in the majors. He hit for career highs .287 in 1944 and .288 in 1946 after spending the 1945 season in the United States Navy, during World War II.

Tucker was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Ralph Weigel on January 27, 1948 and was a part time player for the Indians for three years, hitting .260 in 83 games for the World Champions. He played in only one game against the Boston Braves in the 1948 World Series, but contributed a walk and a base hit off Warren Spahn in the sixth and eighth inning rallies in the 4-3 Series-clinching victory. Thurman also made a pair of excellent defensive plays in the outfield, robbing pinch hitter Clint Conatser of extra bases as Boston's eighth inning rally fell short.

Thurman would remain with the Indians until 1951, giving him nine active seasons in the major leagues and he then would finish out '51 and '52 with the San Diego Padres of the PCL and the Oklahoma City Indians of the Texas League before taking on a player-manager role for four seasons (1955-59), handling the Carlsbad Potashers (1955-56) and the Hobbs Sports (1957 & 59). Thurman would wind up with 13 active years in the minor leagues with a career .299 batting average in 1280 games.

Tucker died May 7, 1993, at age 75 in Oklahoma City, OK, where before retirement he had been in the insurance business.

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] Year-By-Year Minor League Managerial Record

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs
1955 Carlsbad Potashers Longhorn League 72-67 4th none Lost in 1st round
1956 Carlsbad Potashers Southwestern League 70-74 7th none
1957 Hobbs Sports Southwestern League 73-52 1st none none League Champs
1959 Hobbs Cardinals Sophomore League 70-54 3rd St. Louis Cardinals Lost in 1st round

[edit] Sources

Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball: Third Edition
Baseball Players of the 1950s
BR Minors Page

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