Thomas Francis Holmes (March 29, 1917 – April 14, 2008) was an American right and center fielder and manager in Major League Baseball who played nearly his entire career for the Boston Braves. He hit over .300 lifetime (.302) and every year from 1944 through 1948, peaking with a .352 mark in 1945 when he finished second in the National League batting race and was runner-up for the NL's Most Valuable Player Award.
Holmes was born in Brooklyn, New York. He attended and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. Holmes, one of the most popular Boston Braves especially in the twilight of his career, finished second in MVP voting in the National League in 1945 after leading the NL in hits (224), home runs (28) and doubles (47). That season, he set a modern NL record by hitting safely in 37 consecutive games from June 6 through July 8 (Bill Dahlen and Willie Keeler had longer streaks in the 1890s), a mark surpassed 33 years later in 1978 by Pete Rose with a 44-game streak that tied Keeler's and came the closest to Joe DiMaggio's MLB record 56 in 1941. Holmes struck out just 9 times in 1945, and his ratio of home runs (28) to strikeouts that season is one of the best in baseball history.
Holmes, who batted and threw left-handed, signed his first professional contract with the New York Yankees, but could not break into their outfield of Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich and Charlie Keller. After three over-.300 seasons with the Yanks' top farm team, the Newark Bears, he was traded to the Braves in February 1942. Given a regular major league job at last, he hit over .300 for five consecutive seasons (1944–48). In 1948, his .325 in 139 games as the Braves' leadoff hitter help lead Boston to the NL pennant (together with slugging MVP third baseman Bob Elliott and the oft-satirized starting rotation of Spahn, Sain and pray for rain; or Spahn, Sain and a day of rain; or Spahn, Sain, Bickford and rain).
After the 1950 season Holmes, at 33, was named player-manager of the team's Class A Hartford Chiefs farm club. On June 19, 1951, with the injury-ridden parent club Braves floundering in fifth place under manager Billy Southworth, he was called back to Boston to manage his old team and serve as a pinch-hitter. It was hoped he could arouse the club and bring fans back to Braves Field. The team went 48–47 under Holmes for the remainder of 1951, finishing fourth as they did in 1949 and 1950, but when they began 1952 with a mark of 13–22 he was fired on May 31 and replaced by Charlie Grimm. The Braves finished seventh, drew only 281,000 fans, and left Boston for Milwaukee the following spring. That 61–69 stretch (.469) was Holmes' only major league managing stint.
Holmes finished the regular 1952 season pinch-hitting for the Brooklyn Dodgers and playing left field in the final inning of game 7 in the World Series against the New York Yankees, after which he managed in the Braves' and Dodgers' farm systems from 1953 to 1957. He retired with a .302 lifetime batting average with 88 home runs and 581 RBIs in his 1,320-game, eleven-year major league career. He posted a fine .989 fielding percentage in the majors, executing more double plays (37) than errors (33). Later (in 1973) he returned to the game as director of amateur baseball relations for the New York Mets, a post he held for three decades until retiring at 86.
Holmes died of natural causes at the age of 91 in an assisted-living facility in Boca Raton, Florida. He was interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Gardens in that city.
Holmes with the Boston Braves
|Outfielder / Manager|
|Born: March 29, 1917|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died: April 14, 2008 (aged 91)|
Boca Raton, Florida
|April 14, 1942, for the Boston Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1952, for the Brooklyn Dodgers|
|Runs batted in||581|
|Career highlights and awards|
The 1942 Boston Braves season was the 72nd in franchise history.1944 Boston Braves season
The 1944 Boston Braves season was the 74th season of the franchise.1945 Boston Braves season
The 1945 Boston Braves season was the 75th season of the franchise.1945 Major League Baseball season
The 1945 Major League Baseball season. There were 16 teams, eight in both the American League and the National League respectively.1947 Boston Braves season
The 1947 Boston Braves season was the 77th season of the franchise.1948 Boston Braves season
The 1948 Boston Braves season was the 78th season for the Major League Baseball franchise, and its 73rd in the National League. It produced the team's second NL pennant of the 20th century, its first since 1914, and its tenth overall league title dating to 1876.
Led by starting pitchers Johnny Sain and Warren Spahn (who combined for 39 victories), and the hitting of Bob Elliott, Jeff Heath, Tommy Holmes and rookie Alvin Dark, the 1948 Braves captured 91 games to finish 61⁄2 paces ahead of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals. They also attracted 1,455,439 fans to Braves Field, the third-largest gate in the National League and a high-water mark for the team's stay in Boston. The 1948 pennant was the fourth National League championship in seven years for Braves' manager Billy Southworth, who had won three NL titles (1942–44, inclusive) and two World Series championships (1942 and 1944) with the Cardinals. Southworth would be posthumously elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame as a manager in 2008.
However, the Braves fell in six games to the Cleveland Indians in the 1948 World Series, and would experience a swift decline in both on-field success and popularity over the next four seasons. Attendance woes—the Braves would draw only 281,278 home fans in 1952—forced the team's relocation to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in March 1953. (It later moved to Atlanta in 1966.)
After playing .500 baseball in April and May 1948, the Braves vaulted into first place on the strength of a 39–21 record during June and July. Hampered by second baseman Eddie Stanky's broken ankle and center fielder Jim Russell's season-ending illness, the club slumped slightly in August, going only 14–17 and falling out of the lead August 29. But then it righted itself to win 21 of its final 28 games, regain the top spot September 2, and clinch the NL flag on the 26th. Meanwhile, the city's American League team, the Red Sox, ended their season in a first-place tie with the Indians and lost a playoff game to Cleveland at Fenway Park on October 4, ruining the prospect of what would have been the only all-Boston World Series in MLB history.
For both the Braves and Red Sox, the 1948 season was the first to be broadcast on television, with game broadcasts alternating between WBZ-TV and WNAC-TV with the same team as the Red Sox'.1948 World Series
The 1948 World Series saw the Cleveland Indians against the Boston Braves. The Braves had won the National League pennant for the first time since the "Miracle Braves" team of 1914, while the Indians had spoiled a chance for the only all-Boston World Series by winning a one-game playoff against the Boston Red Sox for the American League flag. Though superstar pitcher Bob Feller failed to win either of his two starts, the Indians won the Series in six games to capture their second championship and their first since 1920 (as well as their last to the present date).
It was the first World Series to be televised beyond the previous year's limited New York-Schenectady-Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington network and was announced by famed sportcasters Red Barber, Tom Hussey (in Boston) and Van Patrick (in Cleveland). This was the second appearance in the Fall Classic for both teams, with the Indians' lone previous appearance coming in a 1920 win against the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Braves' lone previous appearance coming in a 1914 win against the Philadelphia Athletics. Consequently, this was the first, and to date only, World Series in which both participating teams had previously played in, but not yet lost, a previous World Series. Currently, this phenomenon can only be repeated if either the Miami Marlins or the Arizona Diamondbacks play against either the Toronto Blue Jays or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a future World Series.
Television coverage of the World Series increased this year, but due to the medium still being in its infancy coverage was strictly regional. Games played in Boston could only be seen in the Northeast, while when the series shifted to Cleveland those games were the first to be aired in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Detroit and Toledo.
This was the only World Series from 1947 to 1958 not to feature a New York team, and also the last World Series until 1957 not won by a New York team (which the Braves won over the Yankees, after they had relocated to Milwaukee). The teams would meet again in the 1995 World Series won by the Braves—by then relocated to Atlanta. This was the first World Series and the last until 2016 where the series score was even.1950 Boston Braves season
The 1950 Boston Braves season was the 80th season of the franchise. During the season, Sam Jethroe became the first black player in the history of the Braves.1951 Boston Braves season
The 1951 Boston Braves season was the 81st season of the franchise and its penultimate in Boston.1952 Boston Braves season
The 1952 Boston Braves season was the 82nd season of the franchise; the team went 64–89 (.418) and was seventh in the eight-team National League, 32 games behind the pennant-winning Brooklyn Dodgers. Home attendance for the season at Braves Field was under 282,000.This was the final season for the franchise in Boston, Massachusetts, and the last home game at Braves Field was played on September 21. Several weeks prior to the 1953 season, the team moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which was the first franchise relocation in the majors in a half century. By 1958, four other teams had moved. The Braves stayed for thirteen years in Milwaukee, then went to Atlanta prior to the 1966 season.1952 Major League Baseball season
The 1952 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 15 to October 7, 1952. The Braves were playing their final season in Boston, before the team relocated to Milwaukee the following year, thus, ending fifty seasons without any MLB team relocating.1953 Major League Baseball season
The 1953 Major League Baseball season was contested from April 13 to October 12, 1953. It marked the first relocation of an MLB franchise in fifty years, as the Boston Braves moved their NL franchise to Milwaukee, where they would play their home games at the new County Stadium.Beloved (1934 film)
Beloved is a 1934 American drama film directed by Victor Schertzinger and written by Paul Gangelin and George O'Neil. The film stars John Boles, Gloria Stuart, Morgan Farley, Ruth Hall, Albert Conti and Dorothy Peterson. The film was released on January 22, 1934, by Universal Pictures.Hitting streak
In baseball, a hitting streak is the number of consecutive official games in which a player appears and gets at least one base hit. According to the Official Baseball Rules, such a streak is not necessarily ended when a player has at least 1 plate appearance and no hits. A streak shall not be terminated if all official plate appearances result in a base on balls, hit by pitch, defensive interference or a sacrifice bunt. The streak shall terminate if the player has a sacrifice fly and no hit.Joe DiMaggio holds the Major League Baseball record with a streak of 56 consecutive games in 1941 which began on May 15 and ended July 17. DiMaggio hit .408 during his streak (91-for-223), with 15 home runs and 55 runs batted in.Malia (canoe)
Mālia is a Hawaiian-style wooden racing canoe crafted by James Takeo Yamasaki. The canoe was hewn out of blonde koa wood in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, in 1933. Its wooden hull provided the founding model for all subsequent outrigger canoeing hulls, including those later molded from fiberglass. Hawaiian racing canoeist Tommy Holmes observed that Malia "remains a prototype for contemporary racing canoes [and] was among the first canoes built exclusively for the sport." The canoe was listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places in 1993.Steve Kuczek
Stanislaw Leo "Steve" Kuczek (December 28, 1924 – November 21, 2010) was an American professional baseball player. A late-season callup to the 1949 Boston Braves, he became one of only 84 players in the history of Major League Baseball to sport a career 1.000 batting average. He was born in Amsterdam, New York, and played baseball in high school, as well as at Colgate University and in the United States Army, in which he served during World War II.On September 29, 1949, in a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Braves Field, Kuczek made his first and only appearance in the Major Leagues. In the second game of a doubleheader, rain had soaked the field and darkness was beginning to set in. In the bottom of the fifth inning with the Dodgers leading 8–0, Tommy Holmes stepped into the batter's box, and Connie Ryan entered the on deck circle wearing a raincoat. Unamused by Ryan's protest of the game continuing under such conditions (and the bonfire started on the dugout steps by other members of the Braves), umpire George Barr promptly ejected Ryan. Kuczek was selected to pinch-hit for Ryan, and was likely going to assume Ryan's position at shortstop were the game to continue. Holmes doubled off Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe, and Kuczek followed by doubling down the right field line. Newcombe then went on to strike out the next three Braves, and umpire Barr called the now official game in favor of the Dodgers.
Kuczek never appeared in another MLB game, and retired after the completion of the 1950 minor league season. He worked with General Electric after his baseball career ended. He died in Scotia, New York, at the age of 85.Thomas Holmes
Thomas or Tom Holmes may refer to:
Thomas Holmes (mortician) (1817–?), American mortician
Thomas William Holmes (1898–1950), Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross
Thomas Holmes, 1st Baron Holmes (1699–1764), English Member of Parliament
Thomas J. Holmes (c. 1819–1867), mayor of Portland, Oregon, 1866–1867
Tom Holmes (politician) (born 1931), chairman of the far-right British political party the National Front
Tom Holmes (rugby union) (born 1990), rugby union player
Tom Holmes (rugby league) (born 1996), rugby league footballer
Tom Holmes (footballer) (born 2000), English footballer
Tom Holmes (artist) (born 1979), American artist
Thomas Holmes (executive), American executive
Thomas Holmes (politician) (born 1949), American former politician
T. Rice Holmes (Thomas Rice Edward Holmes, 1855–1933), scholar
Tommy Holmes (1917–2008), American baseball player and manager
Tommy Holmes (sportswriter), American sports writerThomas William Holmes
Thomas William Holmes VC (14 October 1898 – 4 January 1950) was a soldier in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and was a Canadian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces, during the First World War. Holmes is the youngest Canadian to ever win the Victoria Cross.Tommy Holmes (sportswriter)
Thomas Holmes (November 5, 1903 – March 25, 1975) was an American sports writer who covered the Brooklyn Dodgers for the Brooklyn Eagle and the New York Herald-Tribune from 1924 to 1957.
Holmes, who only had one arm, died in March 1975 at age 71; he was survived by his wife and a son.He was posthumously awarded the J. G. Taylor Spink Award by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, announced in 1979 and inducted in 1980.