Tom Carroll (carroto01)

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Thomas Edward Carroll

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Biographical Information[edit]

Tommy Carroll ended his three-year major league career with a .300 batting average (albeit in only 30 total-bats). Signed by the New York Yankees on January 26, 1955 out of the University of Notre Dame as a bonus baby, Carroll appeared in his first big league game on May 7th of that year. Carroll was the ninth-youngest player in the American League that season. Like many of his fellow bonus earners, Carroll spent most of his time sitting on the bench and watching, and occasionally being used as a pinch runner (33 times over the two seasons he was forced to spend in the majors). He was used twice as a pinch runner in the 1955 World Series, which the Yankees lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers. He would later call this the greatest thrill of his career. In 1956, still forced to stay with the big club, Carroll was the 10th youngest player in the league at 19 years old. The Yankees again reached the World Series, although Carroll's contribution to the team's success was minimal, and he was not used in the victory over the Dodgers.

He then spent the next couple of seasons in the minors. Signed as a shortstop, he was judged too tall for the position at 6' 3" and was moved to third base. In 1957, playing for the Richmond Virginians of the International League, he hit only .213, although with some power. It is not surprising that Carroll was somewhat overmatched, as the league's caliber was quite high, and his professional experience up to that point had been minimal. Seeing this, the Yankees sent him down to the New Orleans Pelicans of the Southern Association at the start of the 1958 season, after which he was promoted to the Denver Bears of the American Association; overall, he hit .283 that year. However, his career was derailed once again when he had to spent six months in military service in the army after the season, slowing any momentum he was starting to build.

On April 12, 1959, he was traded to the Kansas City Athletics with Russ Snyder for Mike Baxes and Bob Martyn, in one of a revolving door of trades between the Yankees and Athletics at the time. He played little for his new team, however, and by early June was back down in the minor leagues. He also played in the winter leagues in Venezuela during those years, but failed to develop any more as a prospect. He retired from baseball after spending the entire 1960 season in the minors. Overall, Carroll was a poor fielder - he had a career fielding percentage of .905, but finished his brief big league career with a .300 batting average in his limited playing opportunities.

After retiring as a player, he put his university education to good use by joining the State Department. He had a long diplomatic career, serving in several countries in Latin America.

Notable Achievement[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Clifford Blau: "Leg Men: Career Pinch-Runners in Major League Baseball", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 38, Number 1 (Summer 2009), pp. 70-81.

Related Sites[edit]