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Tommy O'Brien

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Thomas Edward O'Brien (Obie)

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[edit] Biographical Information

Tommy O'Brien was an All-State athlete in baseball, basketball and football in high school in Anniston, AL. He then attended the University of Tennessee on a football scholarship before signing to play pro baseball. After three warm-up years in the minors, Tommy, a fleet-footed outfielder, hit well for the Pittsburgh Pirates during the World War II years with a .310 average in 1943 and .335 in 1945. On June 16, 1943, he had an 8 for 10 day in a doubleheader.

After the war Tommy was a minor leaguer with the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League in 1946, where he hit .276 with 17 home runs while appearing in 119 games. In 1948 with the Birmingham Barons of the Southern Association, he hit .359 with 19 homers and led the league with 206 base hits. This would get him back in the majors as a backup outfielder for the Boston Red Sox in 1949 and the Washington Senators in 1950, finishing up his major league time with a .277 average in 293 games.

O'Brien would play until 1955 in the high minors. He would be with the AAA Louisville Colonels in 1950-51 and had a two-year average of .270 with 20 round trippers. He spent two seasons with the AA Birmingham Barons and in 1952 he hit for a .315 average and busted 19 home runs. Tommy hung in the game until 1955 and at age 36 he would have his grand finale by hitting .373 for the Orlando C.B.s of the Florida State League. Tom finished out his 12-year minor league run hitting .290 with 120 home runs while appearing in 1,225 games.

After baseball, O'Brien moved back to Anniston, AL and became a high school basketball official in his native state. He died of a brain tumor on November 5, 1978, at age 59.

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Baseball Players of the 1950s

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