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Tommy Harper
Tommy Harper 1963.png
Harper in 1963.
Outfielder / Third baseman
Born: (1940-10-14) October 14, 1940 (age 74)
Oak Grove, Louisiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 9, 1962 for the Cincinnati Reds
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1976 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
Batting average .257
Home runs 146
Runs batted in 567
Stolen bases 408
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Tommy Harper (born October 14, 1940 in Oak Grove, Louisiana) is an American former Major League Baseball outfielder and third baseman. He played with the Cincinnati Reds (1962–67), Cleveland Indians (1968), Seattle Pilots (1969), Milwaukee Brewers (1970–71), Boston Red Sox (1972–74), California Angels (1975), Oakland Athletics (1975), and the Baltimore Orioles (1976).

High School and College[edit]

Harper played at Encinal High School in Alameda, California, where his teammates included Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Stargell and MLB player Curt Motton. He starred collegiately for San Francisco State University.

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

Harper signed as an amateur free agent with the Reds before the 1960 season (as Major League Baseball had yet to institute a draft) and was assigned to Class B Topeka, where he had modest success. After hitting .324 for Topeka the following season, he was promoted all the way up to AAA San Diego where he hit .333 with 24 home runs and was even called up to the major league club, where he started 6 games at third base.

In the 1963–64 seasons, Harper was a platoon player for the Reds, working mostly as an outfielder. 1965 was his breakout season, as he became the Reds' starting left fielder and leadoff hitter, hitting 18 home runs, stealing 35 bases, and leading the National League with 126 runs scored. He would occupy the leadoff role for the next 3 seasons for the Reds, starting at all three outfield positions and serving as backup infielder until being traded to the Indians for 3 players following the 1967 season.

Cleveland Indians[edit]

Harper played only one season with the Indians, starting mostly in left and right field and seeing playing time at center field and second base as well. Although he struggled both with the bat and on the basepaths, he was drafted by the Seattle Pilots as the 3rd pick in the 1968 expansion draft.

Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers[edit]

Harper was the first player to come to bat in Seattle Pilots history when he led off the top of the 1st against right-hander Jim McGlothlin of the California Angels. In that inaugural at bat, he was also the first Pilots player to record a hit, doubling to left field, and then scoring the Pilots first run on a home run by Mike Hegan. Harper led the American League with a career-high 73 stolen bases—the most by an American Leaguer since Ty Cobb's 96 in 1915 and a mark that still stands today as a Pilots/Brewers record. He also showed his versatility in the field, making over 50 starts at both second and third base, 21 starts in center field, and also seeing playing time at both corner outfield positions.

When the Pilots moved to Milwaukee and changed names the following season, Harper was also the first player to come to bat in Milwaukee Brewers history. On April 7, 1970, he led off the bottom of the 1st against California Angels right-hander Andy Messersmith. He hit a ground ball to third baseman Aurelio Rodríguez, who threw to first baseman Jim Spencer for the out. The 1970 season was probably the best statistically in Harper's career. He recorded career highs in hits, doubles, home runs, and RBIs on his way to the lone All-Star game appearance of his career. He also became the first Brewer, and just the fifth major leaguer at that point, to join the 30-30 club by hitting 31 home runs and stealing 38 bases and come in 6th in the AL MVP voting. A second Brewer didn't join him in the 30–30 club until Ryan Braun accomplished the feat in 2011.[1] After his numbers fell off during the 1971 season, Harper was traded to the Red Sox as part of a 10-player trade following the season.

Boston Red Sox[edit]

Harper became the Sox' starting center fielder and leadoff hitter from 1972–74, playing well enough to earn him votes in the AL MVP balloting in '72 and '73. 1973 was his best season with the club, as he led the league in stolen bases for the second time in his career, setting an all-time Red Sox mark with 54, until Jacoby Ellsbury broke the record on August 25, 2009. After the 1974 season, at age 34 and appearing to be in decline, he was traded to the California Angels for journeyman infielder Bob Heise.

California Angels[edit]

Harper played only part of the 1975 season for California. The Angels, well on their way to a last-place division finish, sold him for cash to the contending Oakland A's.

Oakland A's[edit]

Revitalized by the trade to a contender, Harper hit .319 in August and September for the A's and became their starting 1st baseman, also seeing spot duty in the outfield and at third base. Harper was also a perfect 7 of 7 in stolen base attempts. Harper was a key in Oakland's AL West championship drive not only because of his help with the bat, but also because his versatile fielding allowed the As to use the aging Billy Williams at DH where his still powerful bat was useful and where his play in the field was not a liability.

Harper finally saw his first playoff action at age 34 after 14 major league seasons but would be limited to one plate appearance, a walk, as the A's were swept by his old team, the Red Sox. Harper was released by the A's after the season.

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

Harper signed with the Orioles shortly before 1976 spring training. He played sparingly at DH, but his trademark blend of power and speed were gone, rendering him mostly a light-hitting pinch hitter. He was released by the Orioles following the season.

Coaching career[edit]

Harper served as a coach for the Red Sox (1980–84; 2000–02) and the Montreal Expos (1990–99). As of the start of the 2013 season, he remained with Boston as a player development consultant. Ironically, Harper had successfully sued the Red Sox for firing him in 1985 for complaining in the media about the club allowing the segregated Elks Club in its spring training base of Winter Haven, Florida, to invite only the team's white personnel to its establishment.[2] Harper was elected to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2010.

Highlights[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Joe Kay (September 16, 2011). "Braun reached 30–30, Brewers beat Reds 6–3". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 1, 2011. 
  2. ^ Bryant, Howard, Shut Out: A Story of Race and Baseball in Boston

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Johnny Pesky
Dave Jauss
Red Sox First Base Coach
1980–1984
2000–2002
Succeeded by
Joe Morgan
Dallas Williams

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tommy_Harper — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
99354 videos foundNext > 

MY SOUL HAS BEEN ANCHORED SUNG BY TOMMY HARPER

OK I MADE SURE I GOT THE WHOLE VIDEO RECORDED 4 YALL THIS TYME........@ MY CHURCH WE DONT NORMALLY HAVE PEOPLE SHOUTING BUT ...

James Rodriguez Amazing Goal -Tommy Harper

what a goal!-puu.

18/10/2014 - Highlights- Tommy Harper Near Goal

Tommy Harper

Jamming at our loaded gun tattoo shop in small town Troy pa. Such a great voice.

cameron heasley and tommy harper golden hair surprise cover

cameron heasley and tommy harper golden hair surprise cover in troy pa at LOADED GUN TATTOO.

18/10/2014 - Tommy Harper Goal

Tommy Gun (Charlie Harper -UK Subs) @Koko 25th March 2015

Description.

Welland Harper, Gerald Harper, Tommy Knott and Norman Peebles 1978

Original Recording of Welland Harper, Tommy Knott and Norman Peebles and Gerald "Bull" Harper on Guitar Recorded in 1978.

Tommy Oliver, Sharon Leal, Troi Zee, & Hill Harper talk "1982" at Tiff '13

Elliot V. Kotek interviews Tommy Oliver, Sharon Leal, Troi Zee, & Hill Harper about their new film "1982" at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Harper farms

Playing in the water horses.

99354 videos foundNext > 

469 news items

Deadline

Deadline
Tue, 14 Apr 2015 10:45:48 -0700

J.J. Abrams continues to overhaul his Bad Robot Productions. He has tapped Tommy Harper to join as COO, a new position. Harper will oversee Bad Robot's daily operations and report to Abrams, collaborating with Abrams on identifying and creating ...

TBO.com

TBO.com
Wed, 17 Jun 2015 22:03:45 -0700

It's Floridians joining together to help Floridians,” said Tommy Harper, chairman of the Florida Cattlemen's Foundation, which represents about a quarter of the state's 17,000 ranches. In an interview, Wambles said Cow Boss will have a taste similar to ...

Boston Globe

Boston Globe
Sat, 20 Sep 2014 18:01:38 -0700

For decades, Tommy Harper encountered strangers eager to share their Red Sox memories: their first games with their fathers, their first awed glimpses of Fenway in green, their farewells to Ted and Yaz. Harper listened patiently, even when the stories ...

Associations Now

Associations Now
Mon, 22 Jun 2015 15:33:00 -0700

“We have a story to tell about the impact of the Florida cattle industry and what the foundation is doing to preserve its history and heritage. Cow Boss can help begin a conversation about the Florida cattle rancher to a wider audience,” said Tommy ...
 
The Providence Journal
Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:05:41 -0700

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The Providence chapter of the NAACP will celebrate its 101st year Friday with the Freedom Fund Awards Banquet, during which former Red Sox player and coach Tommy Harper will accept an award and speak about discrimination he ...

Jewish Business News

Jewish Business News
Wed, 15 Apr 2015 02:33:45 -0700

J.J. Abrams has appointed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” executive producer Tommy Harper as Chief Operating Officer of Abrams' Bad Robot Productions. This is a newly created position in which Harper will report directly to Abrams. Abrams is directing ...

Lynchburg News and Advance

Lynchburg News and Advance
Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:15:33 -0800

Tommy Harper, who teaches in the emergency services program at Jefferson College of Health Sciences in Roanoke, along with James, makes a hobby of taking the “working man's car” to shows. He is a life member of the Moneta Fire Department, worked at ...

Boston Globe

Boston Globe
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 21:18:05 -0700

However, what better way for the city to renounce that history and celebrate the contribution that African-American ballplayers have made to our beloved baseball team than to change the name of Yawkey Way to something much more positive: Tommy Harper ...
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