Tommy Vann Helms (born May 5, 1941) is an American former professional baseball player and manager. Over a 14-year Major League Baseball career (1964-1977), Helms played for four teams, including eight seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, four with the Houston Astros, and one each with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox. He also managed the Reds for part of two seasons (1988-1989). He is the uncle of former Major League player Wes Helms.
|Second baseman / Manager|
|Born: May 5, 1941|
Charlotte, North Carolina
|September 23, 1964, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1977, for the Boston Red Sox|
|Runs batted in||477|
|Career highlights and awards|
He appeared briefly with the Reds in 1964, making his major league debut on September 23, 1964 against the Philadelphia Phillies with one plate appearance that year. He also had a short stint with the Reds in 1965, with 46 plate appearances. On September 1, 1965 during a doubleheader, Helms went 4-4 with two triples. Helms' first full season in the majors was 1966. A natural shortstop, Helms was moved to third base by the Reds his rookie season with Leo Cárdenas firmly entrenched at short. Helms clubbed nine home runs, batted .284, and provided sparkling defense at his new position to earn the 1966 National League Rookie of the Year.
In 1967, the Reds shuffled their line-up, moving budding superstar Tony Pérez to third, Helms to second, and Pete Rose from second base to left field. As a second baseman, Helms was a member of the National League All Star Team in 1967 and 1968, and won the National League Gold Glove award in 1970 and 1971. The Reds moved to Riverfront Stadium in June, 1970, and Helms hit the first Reds home run on July 1. Helms started all five games of the 1970 World Series, with four hits and one walk in 19 plate appearances as the Reds fell to the Baltimore Orioles.
During his Gold Glove season of 1971, Helms set a Reds record turning 130 double plays. He led National League second basemen in double plays in 1969 and 1971, fielding percentage in 1970, 1971 and 1974 and assists in 1972.
On November 29, 1971, Helms was part of a blockbuster trade that brought Joe Morgan, Denis Menke, César Gerónimo, Ed Armbrister and Jack Billingham from the Houston Astros for Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart. After four seasons in Houston, Helms was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates prior to the start of the 1976 season. He was purchased by the Oakland A's following the season, and actually traded back to the Pirates, along with Chris Batton and Phil Garner for Tony Armas, Doug Bair, Dave Giusti, Rick Langford, Doc Medich and Mitchell Page during spring training the following season.
Shortly after reacquiring him, the Pirates released Helms. He signed with the Boston Red Sox for the remainder of the 1977 season, serving primarily as a designated hitter before calling it a career. During his 14 years in a major league uniform, Helms struck out only 301 times in almost 5,000 at bats. Former Reds closer Clay Carroll was once asked, "Who would you want at second base when the game was on line?" He promptly responded, "Two words, Tommy Helms."
In 1435 games over 14 seasons, Helms compiled a .269 batting average (1342-for-4997) with 414 runs, 223 doubles, 21 triples, 34 home runs, 477 RBI, 231 bases on balls, 301 strikeouts, .300 on-base percentage and .342 slugging percentage. Defensively, he recorded a .980 fielding percentage at second base, third base and shortstop.
Helms served on Pete Rose's coaching staff when Rose was named manager of the Reds in 1984. On April 30, 1988, during a home game against the New York Mets, and following a call by umpire Dave Pallone which allowed the Mets' eventual winning run to score in the 6-5 game, Rose argued vehemently and made physical contact with the umpire, noticeably pushing him. National League president A. Bartlett Giamatti suspended Rose for 30 days. Helms served as manager of the Reds during Rose's suspension and led the team to a 12-15 record.
On August 24, 1989, following accusations that he had gambled on baseball, Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball's ineligible list, and Helms again replaced Rose as Reds manager. The Reds went 16-21 under Helms. He was replaced at the end of the season by Lou Piniella. He later managed the Chicago Cubs Southern League affiliate Charlotte Knights in 1990 and the Atlantic City Surf of the independent Atlantic League in 2000 and 2001.
Helms was born May 5, 1941 in Charlotte, North Carolina and was a 1959 graduate of West Mecklenburg High School. He signed with the Reds at age 18. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps beginning in October 1963.
After retirement he lived in North Carolina and later in Cincinnati. From 1990 to 1992, his son Tommy Helms Jr. played in the Chicago Cubs organization, and his son Ryan Helms played in 1994 and 1995 in the Chicago White Sox organization.
In 2013, Tommy Helms was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
| Topps Rookie All-Star Third Baseman
The 1970 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds winning the National League West title with a record of 102–60, 14½ games ahead of the runner-up Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in three straight games in the 1970 National League Championship Series to win their first National League pennant since 1961. The team then lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the 1970 World Series in five games.
The Reds were managed by first-year manager George "Sparky" Anderson and played their home games at Crosley Field during the first part of the year, before moving into the then-new Riverfront Stadium on June 30.1970 World Series
The 1970 World Series matched the American League champion Baltimore Orioles (108–54 in the regular season) against the National League champion Cincinnati Reds (102–60), with the Orioles winning in five games.
In this series Emmett Ashford became the first African American to umpire in the Fall Classic. It also featured the first World Series games to be played on artificial turf, as Games 1 and 2 took place at Cincinnati's first-year Riverfront Stadium.
This was the last World Series in which all games were played in the afternoon. Also this was the third time in a World Series where a team leading 3–0 in the series would fail to complete the sweep by losing game 4 but still win game 5 to win the series. 1910 and 1937 were the others. This was the last World Series until 2017 in which both participating teams won over 100 games during the regular season.1971 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1971 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds finishing in a fourth place tie with the Houston Astros in the National League West, with a record of 79–83, 11 games behind the NL West champion San Francisco Giants. The Reds were managed by Sparky Anderson, and played their first full season of home games at Riverfront Stadium, which had opened at mid-season in the previous year. This was the team's only losing season of the 1970s.1972 Cincinnati Reds season
The 1972 Cincinnati Reds season consisted of the Reds winning the National League West title with a record of 95–59, 10½ games over the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers. They defeated the previous year's World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1972 National League Championship Series, but lost to the Oakland Athletics in seven games in the 1972 World Series. The Reds were managed by Sparky Anderson.
The theme for the Reds was "Redemption" after a disastrous 1971 season that saw the Reds fall from a World Series participant in 1970 to a sub .500 team a year later. In fact, the March 13, 1972, Sports Illustrated edition featured the Reds on the front cover headlining "Redemption for the Reds." The Reds won 102 games in 1970, but only 79 a year later. A major catalyst for the Reds, Bobby Tolan, ruptured his Achilles' tendon in the winter of 1971, and he missed the entire '71 MLB season. Nearly every Reds regular, including Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, Tony Pérez, Bernie Carbo and David Concepcion, had significant decreases in their production from 1970. The lone exception was popular first baseman Lee May, who set career highs in home runs (39) and slugging percentage (.532).
Reds fans, en masse, were shocked and dismayed when, on November 29, 1971, Cincinnati Reds General Manager Bob Howsam traded May, Gold Glove winning second baseman Tommy Helms and key utility man Jimmy Stewart to division rival Houston Astros for second baseman Joe Morgan, third baseman Denis Menke, pitcher Jack Billingham, little used outfielder Cesar Geronimo and minor leaguer Ed Armbrister. The trade turned out to be one of the best trades in Reds history. Morgan would escape the cavernous Houston Astrodome to a more hitter-friendly Riverfront Stadium home park. Surrounded by more talent in Cincinnati, Morgan would become one of the more productive power-speed players in the entire decade on his way to eventual induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Morgan and Geronimo would also go on to each win multiple Gold Glove awards, as Geronimo manned right field until 1974 when he would take over in center field. Billingham would go on to win 12 games in 1972 and 50 total in his first three years with the Reds. Billingham's best moments came in the 1972 World Series when he threw 13 2⁄3 innings allowing no earned runs in collecting a win, a save, and a no decision in Game 7.
With Rose, Morgan and a healthy Tolan at the top of the lineup, a rejuvenated Bench was the recipient as the Reds' cleanup hitter. Rebounding from the 1971 disaster when Bench only drove in 61 runs, he slammed 40 home runs and had a major league-best 125 RBI. Bench also walked a career-high 100 times on his way to NL MVP honors.
Cincinnati got off to a slow start, winning only eight of their first 21 games before winning nine straight. The Reds were still only 20–18 when they went into Houston to play the retooled Astros for a four-game series, May 29 – June 1, at the Astrodome, a notorious pitchers park. But the Reds scored 39 runs in the series and won all four games. The Reds went into the July 23 All-Star break with a 6½ game lead over the Astros and an 8-game lead over the Dodgers. Neither team seriously threatened the Reds in the second half.
Reds ace Gary Nolan won 13 of his 15 decisions by July 13, only 79 games into the season. But Nolan suffered a series of neck and shoulder ailments that forced him out of the All Star game and limited him to a total of 25 starts. He spent much of the second-half on the disabled list resting and then rehabbing. He won two games after the All-Star break. Nolan still finished second in the National League in ERA (1.99) to Philadelphia's Steve Carlton (1.97). Morgan (122 runs scored, 16 home runs, 73 RBI, 58 stolen bases, .292 average) finished fourth in MVP voting, while Rose (107 runs, 198 hits, 11 triples, .307 avg.) and reliever Clay Carroll (37 saves, 2.25 ERA) were 12th and 13th, respectively, in the MVP voting conducted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
The Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates, three games to two, in an exciting 1972 National League Championship Series, the first time in its four-year history the NLCS had gone five games. The World Series against the Oakland A's was equally as epic, with the Reds falling in Game 7, 3–2, the sixth game of the series decided by a single run.1972 Houston Astros season
The 1972 Houston Astros season was a season in American baseball. The team finished second in the National League West with a record of 84–69, 10½ games behind the Cincinnati Reds and just a percentage point ahead of the Los Angeles Dodgers.1977 Boston Red Sox season
The 1977 Boston Red Sox season was the 77th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished tied for second in the American League East with a record of 97 wins and 64 losses, 2½ games behind the New York Yankees.
Lack of pitching depth might have been a hindrance, but the team was helped by a league-leading offense, which during one ten-game span hit 33 home runs. With that kind of scoring, Boston managed to compete with the Yankees and Orioles – leading the division as late as August 22 – but at season's end, not even 97 wins would be enough.1977 Pittsburgh Pirates season
The 1977 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the 96th season of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise; their 91st in the National League. The Pirates finished second in the National League East with a record of 96–66.1983 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1983 followed the system in place since 1978.
The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and
elected two, Juan Marichal and Brooks Robinson.
The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.
It selected Walter Alston and George Kell.1989 Cincinnati Reds season
The Cincinnati Reds' 1989 season consisted of the Cincinnati Reds attempting to win the National League West for the first time since 1979. The season was defined by allegations of gambling by Pete Rose. Before the end of the season, Rose was banned from baseball by commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti.Chris Batton
Christopher Sean Batton (born August 24, 1954) is a former professional baseball pitcher. He played part of one season in Major League Baseball for the Oakland Athletics.
Batton was drafted by the Athletics in the 12th round of the 1972 Major League Baseball Draft, and pitched in their organization through his major league debut in September 1976. He pitched two games for the A's with no decisions. The following spring he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates with Phil Garner and Tommy Helms to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Tony Armas, Rick Langford, Doug Bair, Dave Giusti, Doc Medich, and Mitchell Page. He never pitched in the major leagues again.
Batton's twin brother John pitched briefly in the minor leagues in the Minnesota Twins organization in 1974.Dave Giusti
David John Giusti, Jr. (born November 27, 1939) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1962 to 1977.
While attending and playing baseball for Syracuse University, Giusti pitched in the 1961 College World Series as a starting pitcher. He signed out of a college as a free agent with the Houston Colt .45s (later the Houston Astros), and played in Houston from 1962-68. Shortly before the 1968 expansion draft, Giusti was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, who left him unprotected, and he was then drafted by the San Diego Padres. Two months later, Giusti was then traded back to the Cardinals.
After the 1969 baseball season, Giusti was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates. With the Pirates, he was converted into a relief pitcher by manager Danny Murtaugh, and Giusti soon became one of the leading relief pitchers in the National League. Using his sinking palmball heavily, Giusti recorded 20 or more saves in each of the next four baseball seasons, and he led the National League with 30 saves in 1971 for the Pirates. Giusti appeared in three games for Pittsburgh in the 1971 World Series, earning a save in Game Four. Giusti was awarded The Sporting News Reliever of the Year Award in 1971.
In 1973, Giusti was selected for the National League's All-Star Team. Giusti pitched a one-two-three seventh inning as the National League won the game 7-1.Shortly before the beginning of the 1977 season, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics as part of a ten-player trade – one that also sent Tony Armas, Rick Langford, Doug Bair, Doc Medich and Mitchell Page to the Oakland Athletics and sent Phil Garner, Chris Batton, and Tommy Helms to Pittsburgh. In August, the Athletics sold Giusti's contract to the Chicago Cubs with whom Giusti finished the season, and after being released by the Cubs in November, Giusti retired from baseball.
Giusti's most valuable baseball pitch was his palmball.
After his baseball career, Giusti became a corporate sales manager for American Express. As of 2002, he is retired and living in Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania.Ed Armbrister
Edison Rosanda Armbrister (born July 4, 1948 in Nassau, Bahamas) is a former outfielder in Major League Baseball who had a five-year career from 1973 through 1977 with the Cincinnati Reds. Originally in the Houston Astros system, he was traded to the Reds in the deal that sent Joe Morgan, César Gerónimo, Denis Menke and Jack Billingham to Cincinnati for Lee May, Tommy Helms and Jimmy Stewart.
Armbrister is best remembered for his involvement in a controversial play in the 1975 World Series. In the tenth inning of Game Three, with César Gerónimo on base and nobody out, Armbrister collided with Boston Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk at home plate while starting to run out a sacrifice bunt, leading to a wild throw by Fisk to second base that allowed Gerónimo to reach third base and eventually score the winning run; home plate umpire Larry Barnett did not make an interference call on Armbrister, a decision which was a source of heated debate after the Reds won the game 6–5.
After baseball, he returned to the Bahamas. He was a craps table croupier at Resorts International’s Paradise Island Casino and worked for at least one other establishment in the gaming business, a staple of the Bahamian tourist economy. As of 2006, he was with the Local Government and Consumer Affairs agency, on Arawak Cay, a popular attraction in the Nassau area. He also served as a consultant to the Ministry of Sports and managed the Bahamian junior national team. In his downtime, Armbrister became a notable local softball player.In 2008, he was inducted into the Bahamas National Hall of Fame.Helms
Helms is a German/Scandinavian family name. The name is most connected to the German town of Helmsdorf. It may refer to:
Adam Helms (born 1974), American artist
Bobby Helms (1933-1997), American country music singer Robert Lee Helms
Chet Helms (1942-2005), American rock promoter, founder and manager of the rock band Big Brother and the Holding Company
David H. Helms (1838–1921), Union Army soldier during the American Civil War and recipient of the Medal of Honor
Don Helms (1927-2008), American country music steel guitarist
Ed Helms (born 1974), American actor
Gregory Helms (born 1974), American professional wrestler
Hans G. Helms (1932–2012), German experimental writer, composer and social and economic analyst and critic
Hermann Helms (1870-1963), American chess player, writer and promoter
Jesse Helms (1921-2008), U.S. senator from North Carolina from 1973 to 2003
Jesse L. Helms (1909-1982), American politician
Johannes Helms (1828-1895), Danish writer and headmaster
John Henry Helms (1874-1919), United States Marine and a recipient of the Medal of Honor
Johnny Helms (1935-2015), American jazz trumpeter
J. Lynn Helms (1925-2011), President of Piper Aircraft Corp. and Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration
Laili Helms, the Taliban's best-known advocate in the West before the 9/11 attacks
Mike Helms (born 1982), American former basketball player
Paul Helms (1889-1957), founder of the Helms Bakery and co-founder of the Helms Athletic Foundation
Richard Helms (1913-2002), CIA Director from 1966 to 1973
Richard Helms (naturalist) (1842-1914) German-born Australian naturalist
Susan Helms (born 1958), US Air Force lieutenant general and astronaut
Tommy Helms (born 1941), American former Major League Baseball player and manager
Wes Helms (born 1976), American Major League Baseball player, nephew of Tommy Helms
William Helms (died 1813), US Representative from New Jersey and Revolutionary War officerJack Billingham
John Eugene Billingham (born February 21, 1943) is a former starting pitcher in Major League Baseball who played from 1968 through 1980 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Cincinnati Reds, Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox. The 6-foot-4 hurler won at least 10 games for 10 consecutive seasons, and he helped lead Cincinnati's legendary "Big Red Machine" to back-to-back World Series titles in 1975 and 1976. He batted and threw right-handed. Billingham is the cousin of Christy Mathewson.Jimmy Stewart (baseball)
James Franklin Stewart (June 11, 1939 – November 24, 2012) was a Major League Baseball player for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros from 1963 to 1973.He was born June 11, 1939 to John and Nelle Stewart. He graduated in 1957 from Lafayette High School in Lafayette, Alabama, where he starred in baseball, basketball and track. He went to Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee where he lettered in baseball, basketball and track.Stewart came up with the Cubs as a middle infielder, making his major league debut at age 24 on September 3, 1963 in a 16-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants in Candlestick Park. His first career at-bat was a pinch-hit flyout against Baseball Hall of Famer Juan Marichal. His first hit came a week later on September 10 in an 8-0 road loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. Again, he was pinch-hitting against a Baseball hall of Famer, Bob Gibson, but this time he hit a double and later singled against Gibson.His most productive season came in 1964 for the Cubs, when he played 132 games and hit .253 with three home runs, 33 runs batted in, 17 doubles and 49 walks.
He was purchased from the Cubs by the Chicago White Sox during the 1967 season. After playing in their minor league system for two seasons, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds from the White Sox in the 1968 rule 5 draft. Due to his versatility in the field, during his three seasons with the Reds. Stewart was known as "Super Sub" as he played every position except pitcher. He played in two games of the 1970 World Series, going hitless in two at-bats as the Reds fell to the Baltimore Orioles in five games.
On November 29, 1971, Stewart was part of a trade that brought Joe Morgan, César Gerónimo, Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham and Denis Menke to the Reds from the Houston Astros for Stewart, Lee May and Tommy Helms. After two seasons with the Astros, he played his final major league game at age 34 on September 29, 1973.
He ended his 10-year career with 777 games played with a .237 batting average, eight home runs and 112 runs batted in.In 1978 he was inducted into the Austin Peay Athletics Hall of Fame.After his playing days ended, in 1980 Stewart rejoined the Reds, serving first as a minor league manager and then as a scout, serving as major league scout from 1984 through 1991. In 1992 he joined the Philadelphia Phillies as a major league special assignment scout, and remained in that position until his retirement in 2006.
He retired to Florida with his wife Donna. Jimmy Stewart died at age 73 on November 24, 2012 in Odessa, Florida. He was survived by his wife of 50 years, Donna; two sons, Jimmy and Andy; eight grandchildren, Brad, Andrew, Jeremy, Kristina, Lindsey, Donna, Valeria and Andrea; and seven great-grandchildren.Scott Breeden
Harold Scott Breeden (September 17, 1937 — February 21, 2006) was an American pitcher and pitching coach in professional baseball. A native of Charlottesville, Virginia, he threw and batted right-handed, stood 6 feet 2 inches (1.9 m) tall and weighed 190 pounds (86 kg).
Breeden graduated from Reily High School of Hamilton, Ohio, in 1956 and attended Miami University. He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956 and enjoyed his best minor league season in 1958 for the Kokomo Dodgers, winning 17 of 22 decisions (.773) with an earned run average of 2.09. He also pitched a no-hit game that season against the Keokuk Cardinals on May 19. After 2½ seasons at the Triple-A level in the Dodger system, he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds before the 1963 season for infielder Don Zimmer. In 12 minor league seasons (1956–67), Breeden won 102 games and lost 90, with an ERA of 4.02 in 422 career appearances.
Although he never reached Major League Baseball as a player, Breeden spent 14 seasons (1968–81) as the roving minor league pitching instructor for the Cincinnati organization and was the Reds' MLB pitching coach from 1986–89, serving under Pete Rose and Tommy Helms. He also scouted for the Reds and served as a minor league pitching coach for the Chicago Cubs and Toronto Blue Jays.
Scott Breeden died at age 68 in Temple Terrace, Florida.Second baseman
In baseball and softball, second baseman is a fielding position in the infield, between second and first base. The second baseman often possesses quick hands and feet, needs the ability to get rid of the ball quickly, and must be able to make the pivot on a double play. In addition, second basemen are usually right-handed; only four left-handed throwing players have ever played second base in Major League Baseball since 1950. In the numbering system used to record defensive plays, the second baseman is assigned the number 4.
Good second basemen need to have very good range since they have to field balls closer to the first baseman who is often holding runners on, or moving towards the base to cover. On a batted ball to right field, the second baseman goes out towards the ball for the relay. Due to these requirements, second base is sometimes a primarily defensive position in the modern game, but there are hitting stars as well.Wes Helms
Wesley Ray Helms (born May 12, 1976) is an American former professional baseball third baseman, first baseman, and outfielder he is currently the bench coach for the Birmingham Barons. He batted and threw right-handed. He is the nephew of former infielder and coach Tommy Helms.West Mecklenburg High School
West Mecklenburg High School, colloquially known as West Meck, is a high school located in Charlotte, North Carolina, United States. It is part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System and was opened in 1951. The sports teams are known as the Hawks. Besides providing the standard state-mandated high school curriculum, the school also hosts several programs designed for advanced study, including the Academy for Medical Science, the Academy for Tourism and Travel, and Academy of International Languages.
Upon opening in 1951, the school's original mascot was known as the West Meck Indian. The yearbook corresponded to the theme by being known as The Tomahawk.
Members of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame