Tommy McCarthy

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Tommy McCarthy.jpg

Thomas Francis Michael McCarthy

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 170 lb.

Inducted into Hall of Fame in 1946

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Biographical Information[edit]

1887 Old Judge baseball card for Thomas 'Tommy' McCarthy of the Philadelphia Quakers

"He is a splendid outfielder, good general player, and hard hitting batsman. As a run-getter he ranks as one of the best in the profession . . ." - Sporting Life, October 3, 1893

"The best man in the business at the trapped-ball trick was Tommy McCarthy. He had the play down pat, and on more than one occasion saved his team by resorting to it." - John McGraw.

Tommy McCarthy played thirteen seasons in the major leagues and was player-manager for part of one season, but is in the Hall of Fame more for his innovations as a baseball pioneer than for his exploits as a player. He not only did the trapped-ball trick, but also was one of the pioneers of the hit and run and other concepts.

The Hall of Fame notes that he was one of the "Heavenly Twins", along with Hugh Duffy, who called McCarthy the best outfielder he ever saw. McCarthy set a record with 53 outfield assists in 1893. The Hall also states that McCarthy is the only Hall of Famer who spent time in the Union Association, where he started his major league career.

He was a player on the high-profile St. Louis Browns and Boston Beaneaters teams. He rarely led the league in major offensive categories, although he led the American Association in stolen bases in 1890, and had 93 steals in 1888. 1890, the year of three leagues, was by far his best year.

As a pitcher, he had a career major league record of 0-7.

He managed the Newark Bears in 1918 (64-63 - 4th place). He coached College of the Holy Cross in 1899-1900, 1904-1905 and 1916, Dartmouth College in 1906-1907 and Boston College in 1920-1921. He also scouted for the Cincinnati Reds, Boston Red Sox and Boston Braves. He was also an umpire for two games, one in the American Association in 1889 and the other in the National League in 1896.

In 1907, he was mentioned in a newspaper article as the proprietor of a cafe and a bowling alley in Boston. See here for details.

There is only one Hall of Famer on the list of the ten most similar players to McCarthy. One recent player on the list, Lance Johnson, is an interesting comparison. His election to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1946 has been widely criticized in retrospect, and his name often turns up on lists of least-qualified Hall of Famers.

McCarthy and Barry Bonds were both born on July 24; McCarthy was born in 1863 while Bonds was born 101 years later in 1964.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AA At Bats Leader (1889)
  • AA Stolen Bases Leader (1890)
  • AA Singles Leader (1891)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 2 (1893 & 1894)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 7 (1888-1894)
  • 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 4 (1888-1890 & 1892)
  • Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1946

Preceded by
Charlie Comiskey
St. Louis Browns Manager
Succeeded by
John Kerins

Further Reading[edit]

  • Donald Hubbard: The Heavenly Twins of Boston Baseball: A Dual Biography of Hugh Duffy and Tommy McCarthy, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2008.

Related Sites[edit]