Tommie Agee

Tommie Lee Agee (August 9, 1942 – January 22, 2001) was a Major League Baseball center fielder. He is noted for making two of the greatest catches in World Series history, both of which took place in game three of the 1969 World Series.

Tommie Agee
Tommie Agee
Center fielder
Born: August 9, 1942
Magnolia, Alabama
Died: January 22, 2001 (aged 58)
New York City, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 14, 1962, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 30, 1973, for the St. Louis Cardinals
MLB statistics
Batting average.255
Home runs130
Runs batted in433
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Agee was born in Magnolia, Alabama, and played baseball and football at Mobile County Training School with future New York Mets teammate Cleon Jones. After one season at Grambling State University (1961), Agee signed with the Cleveland Indians for a $60,000 bonus.

Career

Cleveland Indians

After two seasons in the Indians' farm system with the AAA Portland Beavers, Agee received a September call-up to Cleveland in 1962. With the Indians already behind 11-1 to the Minnesota Twins, Agee made his major league debut on September 14 at Metropolitan Stadium pinch-hitting for pitcher Bill Dailey in the ninth inning.[1] He received September call-ups to the majors the following two seasons as well, playing a total of 31 games with the Indians in which he batted .170 with one home run and five runs batted in. Following the 1964 season, he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox with Tommy John as part of a three team blockbuster trade between the Indians, ChiSox and Kansas City Athletics that returned All-Star Rocky Colavito to the Indians. [2]

Chicago White Sox

Agee batted just .226 with the Pacific Coast League's Indianapolis Indians, and .158 in ten games with the White Sox in 1965. After earning the starting center fielder job in spring training 1966, he hit a two-run home run in the season opener,[3] and was batting .264 with nine home runs and 38 RBIs to be named the White Sox's sole representative at the 1966 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.[4] He ended the season with a .273 batting average, 22 home runs and 86 RBIs to earn American League Rookie of the Year honors, while his defense in center field earned him a Gold Glove. Although he was technically in his 5th major league season, MLB's classification of a rookie is determined by plate appearances and time on a major league roster. Agee's September call-ups had been so brief and his playing time so scarce that he was still eligible for the award.

Agee was batting .247 with ten home runs and 35 RBIs to earn his second consecutive All-Star selection in 1967. His production fell off considerably in the second half of the season (he hit only four home runs after the All-Star break), and ended the season batting .234 with 52 RBIs. Though they finished the season in fourth place, Chicago finished only three games back of the first place Boston Red Sox, and battled Boston, the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins until the final week of the season. On a team loaded with pitching and short on offense (no regular batted over .241), the team's lack of offense possibly cost the White Sox the American League pennant.

To alleviate this problem, the White Sox imported perennial .300 hitter Tommy Davis, along with pitcher Jack Fisher and two minor leaguers, from the New York Mets for Agee and Al Weis.

New York Mets

Agee Home Run Spot
The spot where Agee's home run landed at Shea Stadium. The marker was removed during the demolition of Shea Stadium and was sold to a private collector, who has it on display in his backyard.

Agee was beaned by Bob Gibson on the very first pitch thrown to a Mets batter in spring training 1968. At the beginning of the regular season, he went 0 for 10 in a 24-inning affair with the Houston Astros[5] that saw his batting average go from .313 to .192. It led to an 0 for 34 slump that brought his average down to .102. For the season, he batted .217 with five home runs and 17 RBIs.[6]

Amazin' Mets

Agee got off to a hot start in 1969. He enjoyed his first career multi-home run game in the third game of the season,[7] against the Montreal Expos, one of which went halfway up in section 48 of the left field upper deck at Shea Stadium, a feat that was never matched. Expos right fielder Mack Jones says the ball was still rising when it came into contact with the stands. To commemorate the homer, there was a painted sign in that section of the stadium with Agee's name, uniform number, and the date. He also had his first four hit game on May 2 (4 for 4 with a walk and a home run).[8]

By May 21, Agee was batting over .300, and the Mets won their third game in a row for a .500 winning percentage 36 games into the season for the first time in franchise history. This was followed by a five- game-losing streak that saw the Mets fall into fourth place in the newly aligned National League East.

The Mets then went on an eleven-game-winning streak that included a two-home run, four-hit performance by Agee against the San Francisco Giants in the final game of the streak.[9] By this point, the Mets were in second place, seven games back of the Chicago Cubs.

The Mets were two and a-half games back on September 8 when the Cubs came to Shea to open a crucial two game series with the Mets. Cubs starter Bill Hands knocked down the first batter he faced, Agee, who had been moved into the lead-off spot in the line-up, in the bottom half of the first inning. Jerry Koosman hit the next Cubs batter he faced, Ron Santo, in the hand, breaking it. Agee himself retaliated by hitting a two-run home run in the third, and scored the winning run of the game on a Wayne Garrett single in the sixth inning.[10]

The Mets swept the Expos in a double header on September 10. Coupled with a Cubs loss, the Mets moved into first place for the first time ever during the 1969 season. The Mets would not relinquish their lead from this point. On September 24, the New York Mets clinched the NL East as Donn Clendenon hit two home runs in a 6-0 Mets win over Steve Carlton and the St. Louis Cardinals (who struck out a record nineteen Mets nine days earlier in a losing effort). For the season, Agee batted .271 while leading his team with 26 home runs, 97 runs scored and 76 RBIs. Along with Cy Young Award winner Tom Seaver and Cleon Jones, he was one of three Mets to finish in the top ten in NL MVP Award balloting, being also named the Sporting News NL Comeback Player of the Year.

1969 World Series

Agee batted .357 with two home runs and four RBIs in the Mets' three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves in the 1969 National League Championship Series. The Mets were heavy underdogs heading into the World Series against the Baltimore Orioles. In Game 3 (the first World Series home game in Mets history), with the series tied 1–1, Agee had what Sports Illustrated called the greatest single performance by a center fielder in World Series history.[11] In the first inning, Agee hit a leadoff home run off Jim Palmer for what would eventually be the game-winning hit and RBI, as the Mets shut out the Orioles, 5–0. In the same game, Agee also made two catches that potentially saved five runs.[12] The first catch came in the fourth inning with Gary Gentry pitching and two outs and runners on first and third. Agee, playing the left-handed hitting Elrod Hendricks to pull, made a backhanded catch near the base of the wall in left centerfield. The second catch came in the seventh inning with Nolan Ryan relieving Gentry; the bases were loaded with two outs, and Agee made a headfirst dive in right centerfield on a ball hit by Paul Blair.[13][14]

1970–72

Agee began the 1970 season by going on a twenty-game hitting streak from April 16 to May 9. He enjoyed one of the finest games of his career on June 12, when he went four for five with two home runs and four runs scored, and he would go on to be named NL Player of the Month for June with a .364 batting average, 11 home runs, and 30 RBI.[15] He also hit for the cycle on July 6.[16] Agee displayed his spectacular and daring base running in the 10th inning in the NY Mets 2-1 win over the LA Dodgers when he stole second, took third on a wild pitch and surprised every one when he stole home for the victory![17] For the season, Agee batted .286, and established a Mets season record for hits with 182, runs with 107, and stolen bases with 31. He also won his second Gold Glove award, making him the first African-American to win a Gold Glove in both leagues.

Chronic knee injuries hampered Agee in 1971 and 1972, though he still batted .285 and tied for the Mets lead with fourteen home runs in 1971. In 1972, he finished second on the Mets with 47 RBIs despite batting only .227.

Later career

Following the 1972 season, Agee was traded to the Houston Astros for Rich Chiles and Buddy Harris. He faced the Mets for the first time in his career on April 24, and went two for three with a walk and a run scored in the Astros' 4-2 victory.[18] He was batting .235 with eight home runs and fifteen RBIs when the Astros dealt him to the St. Louis Cardinals on August 18, who were in a battle with the Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates in the NL East. Following the season, he was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but was released during spring training. Though he never made a regular season appearance with the Dodgers, his final baseball card was #630T in the 1974 Topps Traded series, which depicted him as a Dodger.

Career statistics

Games PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO HBP AVG OBP SLG FLD%
1130 4324 3912 558 999 170 27 130 433 167 342 918 34 .255 .320 .412 .975

Retirement

After retirement, he operated the Outfielder's Lounge near Shea Stadium. Agee was also known as the most active former Met, taking part in many charitable events and children's baseball clinics around both the New York area and Mobile. He appeared as himself in a 1999 episode of Everybody Loves Raymond along with several other members of the 1969 Mets.[19]

Death

Agee suffered a heart attack while leaving a Midtown Manhattan office building on January 22, 2001, and died later that day at Bellevue Hospital Center, aged 58. He is survived by his wife, Maxcine, and a daughter, J'nelle and his son Jason Agee .[20] Agee was buried in Pine Crest Cemetery in Mobile, Alabama. He was posthumously inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 2002.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Minnesota Twins 11, Cleveland Indians 1". Baseball-Reference.com. 1962-09-14.
  2. ^ "Tommie Agee Stats | Baseball-Reference.com". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2017-09-11.
  3. ^ "Chicago White Sox 3, California Angels 2". Baseball-Reference.com. 1966-04-12.
  4. ^ "1966 All-Star Game". Baseball-Reference.com. 1966-07-12.
  5. ^ "Houston Astros 1, New York Mets 0". Baseball-Reference.com. 1968-04-15.
  6. ^ "Tommie Agee". Ultimate Mets Database. Retrieved 2009-01-02.
  7. ^ "New York Mets 4, Montreal Expos 2". Baseball-Reference.com. 1969-04-10.
  8. ^ "Chicago Cubs 6, New York Mets 4". Baseball-Reference.com. 1969-05-02.
  9. ^ "New York Mets 9, San Francisco Giants 4". Baseball-Reference.com. 1969-06-10.
  10. ^ "New York Mets 3, Chicago Cubs 2". Baseball-Reference.com. 1969-09-08.
  11. ^ "Agee steals the show in four-hit shutout by Gentry & Ryan". 1969-10-14.
  12. ^ "1969 World Series, Game 3". mlb.com. Retrieved January 20, 2015.
  13. ^ "Tommie Agee: 1969 World Series, Game 3". ESPN. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  14. ^ "New York Mets 5, Baltimore Orioles 0". Retrosheet. October 14, 1969.
  15. ^ "New York Mets 6, Atlanta Braves 1". Baseball-Reference.com. 1970-06-12.
  16. ^ "New York Mets 10, St. Louis Cardinals 3". Baseball-Reference.com. 1970-07-06.
  17. ^ "Tommy Agee Steals Home in the 10th Inning".
  18. ^ "Houston Astros 4, New York Mets 2". Baseball-Reference.com. 1973-04-24.
  19. ^ "Big Shots". Everybody Loves Raymond. 1999-03-01.
  20. ^ Goldstein, Richard (2001-01-23). "Tommie Agee, of Miracle Mets, Dies at 58". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25.

Further reading

External links

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Curt Blefary
American League Rookie of the Year
1966
Succeeded by
Rod Carew
Preceded by
Alex Johnson
NL Comeback Player of the Year
1969
Succeeded by
Jim Hickman
Preceded by
Rico Carty
Major League Player of the Month
June, 1970
Succeeded by
Bill Singer
Preceded by
Tony Horton
Hitting for the cycle
July 6, 1970
Succeeded by
Jim Ray Hart
1965 Chicago White Sox season

The 1965 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 65th season in the major leagues, and its 66th season overall. They finished with a record 95–67, good enough for second place in the American League, 7 games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins.

1965 Cleveland Indians season

The 1965 Cleveland Indians season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fifth in the American League with a record of 87–75, 15 games behind the Minnesota Twins. The Indians played .500 ball for the first 40 games, then eventually heated up going on a 10-game winning streak at one point improving their record to 37-24. They would peak at 46-28, but would cool off significantly after the all star break (going 41-47 the rest of the way) and would only spend six days in first place. Still, the Indians 87-75 record would be the best win-loss record they would post between 1959 and 1994. This season also marked the return of Rocky Colavito. This led to an increase in attendance (a season after the Indians almost left Cleveland, due to low attendance). The trade itself ended up being a disaster in the long run, even though it was successful short term (for one season). The Indians were the only team to win the regular season series vs the AL pennant winning Twins (who would lose to the Dodgers in 7 games in the 1965 World Series).

1966 Major League Baseball season

The 1966 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 11 to October 9, 1966. The Braves played their inaugural season in Atlanta, following their relocation from Milwaukee. Three teams played the 1966 season in new stadiums. On April 12, the Braves ushered in Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium with the Pittsburgh Pirates taking a 3–2 win in 13 innings. One week later, Anaheim Stadium opened with the California Angels losing to the Chicago White Sox, 3–1 in the Angels' debut in neighboring Orange County. On May 8, the St. Louis Cardinals closed out old Sportsman's Park/Busch Stadium I with a 10–5 loss to the San Francisco Giants before opening the new Busch Memorial Stadium four days later with a 4–3 win in 12 innings over the Atlanta Braves.

In the World Series the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 4 games to 0.

1967 Chicago White Sox season

The 1967 Chicago White Sox season was the team's 67th season in the major leagues, and its 68th season overall. They finished with a record 89–73, good enough for fourth place in the American League, 3 games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox.

1968 New York Mets season

The 1968 New York Mets season was the seventh regular season for the Mets. They went 73–89 and finished 9th in the National League. They were managed by Gil Hodges. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1969 National League Championship Series

The 1969 National League Championship Series was a best-of-five match-up between the East Division champion New York Mets and the West Division champion Atlanta Braves. The Mets defeated the Braves three games to none. They did not sweep a playoff series again until 2006 as they swept the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division Series in three games.

At that time, the New York Mets became the fastest expansion team to win a National League Pennant with only eight years of existence. Twenty-eight years later, in 1997, the Florida Marlins would break that record by reaching and winning the World Series with only five years of existence. Four years after the Marlins, the Arizona Diamondbacks would break that by reaching and winning the World Series in just their fourth year.

Nolan Ryan played for the Mets at the time, but he did not play until Game 3, which was the first playoff victory of his career.

The Braves finally avenged their 1969 loss 30 years later, by beating the Mets in that year's NLCS four games to two.

1969 New York Mets season

The 1969 New York Mets season was the team's eighth as a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise and culminated when they won the World Series over the Baltimore Orioles. They played their home games at Shea Stadium and were managed by Gil Hodges. The team is often referred to as the "Amazin' Mets" (a nickname coined by Casey Stengel, who managed the team from their inaugural season to 1965) or the "Miracle Mets".

The 1969 season was the first season of divisional play in Major League Baseball. The Mets were assigned to the newly created National League East division. In their seven previous seasons, the Mets had never finished higher than ninth place in the ten-team National League and had never had a winning season. They lost at least one hundred games in five of the seasons. However, they overcame mid-season difficulties while the division leaders for much of the season, the Chicago Cubs, suffered a late-season collapse. The Mets finished 100–62, eight games ahead of the Cubs. The Mets went on to defeat the National League West champion Atlanta Braves three games to none in the inaugural National League Championship Series and went on to defeat the American League champion Baltimore Orioles in five games. First baseman Donn Clendenon was named the series' most valuable player on the strength of his .357 batting average, three home runs, and four runs batted in.

On Saturday, August 22, 2009, many of the surviving members of the 1969 championship team reunited at the New York Mets' present park, Citi Field.

1970 New York Mets season

The 1970 New York Mets season was the ninth regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Led by manager Gil Hodges, the team had an 83–79 record and finished in third place in the National League's Eastern Division.

1972 New York Mets season

The 1972 New York Mets season was the 11th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Led by manager Yogi Berra, the team had an 83–73 record and finished in third place in the National League's Eastern Division.

1973 Houston Astros season

The 1973 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League West with a record of 82–80, 17 games behind the Cincinnati Reds.

1973 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1973 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 92nd season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 82nd season in the National League. The Cardinals overcame an 8-23 start to finish with an 81–81 record during the season and finished second in the National League East, a-game-and-a-half behind the NL East and eventual NL pennant winners New York Mets.

1974 St. Louis Cardinals season

The 1974 St. Louis Cardinals season was the team's 93rd season in St. Louis, Missouri and its 83rd season in the National League. The Cardinals went 86–75 during the season and finished second in the National League East, a game and-a-half behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Agee (surname)

Agee is a surname. Notable people with the name include:

Arthur Agee (born 1972), American basketball player and subject of the documentary Hoop Dreams

Chris Agee (born 1956), poet with dual Irish and American citizenship

G. Steven Agee (born 1952), American judge

James Agee (1909–1955), American novelist, poet, critic and screenwriter

Mary Cunningham Agee (born 1951), American former business executive, author, entrepreneur and philanthropist

Philip Agee (1935–2008), former CIA employee and author

Ray Agee (1921–1989), American R&B singer and songwriter

Steve Agee (born 1969), American actor

Tommie Agee (1942–2001), American baseball player

Tommie Agee (American football) (born 1964), American football player

William Agee (1938–2017), American business executive

Don Hahn (baseball)

Donald Antone Hahn (born November 16, 1948) is an American former professional baseball outfielder, known primarily for his defensive abilities. Hahn played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, and San Diego Padres.

Hahn attended Campbell High School in Campbell, California. There, along with his studies, he played baseball, basketball, and football. The right-handed throwing and batting Hahn was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 17th round of the 1966 Major League Baseball draft

On April 8, 1969, Hahn played in his first major league game; he was the starting center fielder in the Montreal Expos' first game ever. He also was the first fielder in Expo franchise history to field a ball; in the bottom of the first inning, the New York Mets' Tommie Agee singled to center field, and Hahn retrieved it and threw the ball to the cutoff man. The game was played at Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York, and the Expos defeated the Mets by a score of 11-10. Hahn's first major league at-bat came in the second inning of the game as he batted eighth in the lineup; he struck out. He went 0-for-3 before being taken out for Don Shaw. Hahn later became quite accustomed to the Shea Stadium outfield grass; a few days before the 1971 MLB season began, the Mets traded 1969 World Series hero Ron Swoboda, along with minor leaguer Rich Hacker, to the Expos, in exchange for the young outfielder.Hahn emerged as the starting center fielder for the pennant-winning Mets of 1973. Hahn started all 12 games for the Mets during post-season play. Earlier in '73, in July, Hahn was involved in a brutal collision in the outfield with left fielder George Theodore, which resulted in a dislocated hip for Theodore.After the 1974 MLB season, Hahn was traded to the Phillies, along with relief pitcher Tug McGraw and fellow outfielder Dave Schneck. The Phillies sent catcher John Stearns, relief pitcher Mac Scarce, and outfielder Del Unser to the Mets.

Jim Nash

James Edwin Nash (born February 9, 1945), commonly known as Jim Nash, is a retired American professional baseball pitcher. He debuted on July 3, 1966 against the Detroit Tigers after then Kansas City Athletics signed him as a free agent. During his rookie season in 1966 he went 12–1 with a 2.06 earned run average in 127 innings pitched as part of the kiddie corps of pitchers featured in Kansas City. He also received the only two votes not won by Tommie Agee for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. Nash would appear on the cover of the March 13, 1967 Sports Illustrated and was featured in a story along with up and coming pitchers Catfish Hunter and Blue Moon Odom. [1] Nash however failed to live up to the hype from his first two seasons and ended with a career record of 68 wins and 64 losses with a lifetime ERA of 3.58, allowing 1,050 hits and 441 earned runs in 1,107.1 innings pitched. He went on to play 4 seasons for the Athletics and 3 seasons for the Atlanta Braves, playing his final season with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1972.

List of Chicago White Sox award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Chicago White Sox professional baseball team.

Magnolia, Alabama

Magnolia is an unincorporated community in Marengo County, Alabama, United States.

Tommie

Tommie is a masculine given name of English origin, occasionally a nickname or shortened form of Thomas, and is sometimes used as a feminine form of Thomas. Notable people with the name include:

Tommie Aaron (1939–1984), first baseman and left fielder in Major League Baseball

Tommie Agee (1942–2001), Major League Baseball center fielder

Tommie Agee (American football) (born 1964), former American National Football League running back

Tommie Barfield (1888-1949), the first school superintendent of Collier County, Florida

Tommie Bass (1908-1996) Appalachian herbalist who lived near Lookout Mountain, Alabama

Tommie Brown (born 1934), former representative of Chattanooga to the Tennessee state legislature

Tommie Burton (1878–1946), West Indian cricketer

Tommie Connor (1904–1993), British songwriter

Tommie Eriksson, musician who played in the symphonic metal band Therion

Tommie Frazier (born 1974), former college football quarterback

Tommie Gorman (born 1956), Irish journalist

Tommie Harris (born 1983), American National Football League defensive tackle

Tommie Hill (born 1985), American football defensive end

Tommie Hughes (1974–2006), convicted murderer

Tommie Lindsey (born 1951), American high school public speaking coach

Tommie Reynolds (born 1941), former Major League Baseball outfielder

Tommie Shelby, philosopher and writer

Tommie Sisk (born 1942), former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher

Tommie Smith (born 1944), African American former track & field athlete

Tommie Sunshine, record producer, remixer, DJ and electronic music songwriter Thomas Lorello

Tommie van der Leegte (born 1977), retired Dutch footballer

Tommie Young, American soul and gospel singer from Dallas, Texas

Tommie Agee (American football)

Thomas Lee Agee (born February 22, 1964) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Seattle Seahawks, Kansas City Chiefs, and Dallas Cowboys. He played college football at Auburn University.

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