Tommie Lee Aaron
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.
- High School Josephine Allen Institute
- Debut April 10, 1962
- Final Game September 24, 1971
- Born August 5, 1939 in Mobile, AL USA
- Died August 16, 1984 in Atlanta, GA USA
Tommie Aaron was a major league player and career baseball professional, involved in various capacities in the Milwaukee Braves/Atlanta Braves organization from 1958 when he first signed as a free agent until his death in 1984. In addition to being a player and coach, he was the first black manager in AA ball and the first black manager in the International League (source: milb.com).
Tommie Aaron reached the majors as a player in 1962, joining his brother in the Milwaukee outfield. He played parts of seven seasons in the big leagues, from 1962 to 1971, getting 994 at-bats total in the majors. In 1967 he was MVP of the International League with the Richmond Braves. He appeared in the 1969 National League Championship Series, getting one at-bat.
His 1971 season with Richmond, for whom he played 96 games, was possibly even better than his 1967 MVP season for the team. His .318 batting average was higher than that of the 22-year-old Dusty Baker who hit .311 and the 24-year-old Darrell Evans who hit .307. His SLG was a bit above that of Baker but below that of Evans. Also on the team was Dick Allen's brother Hank Allen, who hit .267 in limited play, and Jim Breazeale, who led the team in home runs.
After his playing career ended, Aaron managed minor league teams in Savannah, GA and Richmond, VA from 1973 to 1978 and was an Atlanta Braves coach for six seasons from 1979 to 1984. He died tragically of leukemia at age 45. With his track record as a minor league manager and major league coach, if he had not died he might have become the Braves' manager sometime later in the 1980s.
Tommie Aaron holds a share of the record for home runs hit by brothers in the major leagues with 768. Hank hit 755, and Tommie slugged 13.
The Richmond Braves annually award the "Tommie Aaron Memorial Award" to the player who is the most valuable on the team. In 2008 he was elected to the International League Hall of Fame, both for his success as a ballplayer and for his success as a manager.
He primarily wore number 18.
The book Hank Aaron and the Home Run That Changed America stated that Tommie's nickname was "T-Bone", and that he was friends with Cleon Jones, who had played against him in high school.
Through 2010, the only other major leaguers with the first name spelled "Tommie" have been Tommie Agee, Tommie Reynolds and Tommie Sisk. Agee and Sisk broke in during the 1962 season, while Reynolds broke in during the 1963 season.
Year-by-Year Managerial Record
|1973||Savannah Braves||Southern League||37-45||3rd||Atlanta Braves||replaced Clint Courtney (34-23)|
|1974||Savannah Braves||Southern League||73-65||4th||Atlanta Braves|
|1975||Savannah Braves||Southern League||70-64||3rd (t)||Atlanta Braves|
|1976||Savannah Braves||Southern League||69-71||5th||Atlanta Braves|
|1977||Richmond Braves||International League||71-69||4th||Atlanta Braves||Lost in 1st round|
|1978||Richmond Braves||International League||71-68||4th||Atlanta Braves||League Champs|