Thomas Judson Saffell
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.
- School Maryville College
- Debut July 1, 1949
- Final Game September 25, 1955
- Born July 26, 1921 in Etowah, TN USA
- Died September 10, 2012 in Sarasota, FL USA
Tom Saffell played four seasons in the major leagues and then embarked on a long career as a minor league manager and executive.
He was centerfielder for the 1948 Indianapolis Indians, who won 100 games. He hit .299 with 22 stolen bases.
He was a United States Army Air Force pilot during World War II, flying 61 missions in Europe with the 405th Fighter Squadron of the 371st Fighter Group. He flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.
After his playing career, Tom Saffell embarked on a nomadic minor league managing career in which he managed for 5 different organizations (one twice) over 13 years. In 1960, Saffell led the Reno Silver Sox to the California League title for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a scout in 1961 and managed the Jacksonville Jets. In 1964 Saffell was fined $250 and suspended for 30 days for refusing to send his team to the field for a game.
He then worked as a painter, bartender and salesman in Sarasota, FL for several years. He had earlier been one of the pitchers on the television program Home Run Derby in 1958-1959. Saffell became president of the Gulf Coast League (where he had managed in 1966-1968) in 1980 and held the job until retiring, at age 88, at the end of 2009. After his 30-year run as league president, the championship trophy of the GCL was named the Thomas J. Saffell Trophy in his honor.
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
Saffell also was manager for the Chicago White Sox entry in the 1969 Florida Instructional League.