Willie Tasby

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Willie Tasby Jr.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Outfielder Willie Tasby was signed as an amateur free agent before the 1950 season by the St. Louis Browns out of McClymonds High School in Oakland, CA, where he preceded future big league stars Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson and Curt Flood.

There were some early unfair comparisons of Tasby to Willie Mays after he hit .304 with 27 homers and 121 RBIs for the York White Roses of the Piedmont League in 1954.

He first arrived to the bug leagues with the Baltimore Orioles in 1958 after hitting .322 with 22 home runs and 95 RBIs for the Louisville Colonels of the American Association that year. He was the opening day center fielder for the Orioles in 1959. His fine showing that season earned him a spot on the 1959 Topps All-Star Rookie Team, hitting .250 with 13 homers in 142 games. But despite the fact he seemingly had all the tools with good speed, a strong throwing arm and the ability to hit with power, he never attained more than journeyman status his six years in the American League, reaching personal highs with 17 homers and 63 RBIs for the expansion Washington Senators in 1961.

Willie finished up his major league time with the Cleveland Indians in 1963, hitting .224 for the year. That gave him a career .250 batting average with 46 home runs in his six years in the Show. Tasby spent eleven active seasons in the minors (1950-1964) and finished up his pro baseball career with the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League in 1964, hitting 17 homers with a .308 batting average. This gave him a minor league career .289 batting average with 156 home runs in 994 games.

Willie, who is probably best remembered for the stormy night he took the field without shoes because he feared his spiked cleats would attract lightning, continues to reside in Oakland, CA, where he was employed by the Trans-Pacific Airlines and later with the American Can Company before his retirement.

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