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OBITUARIES / Passings / Tom Tresh

Yankee fielder was top rookie

October 17, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Tom Tresh, 71, the 1962 American League Rookie of the Year and member of three New York Yankees teams that reached the World Series, died Wednesday at his home in Venice, Fla., after a heart attack.

Tresh was a 1962 All-Star shortstop and made the team again in 1963 as a center fielder. He later earned a Gold Glove in the outfield.

The Yankees were nearing the end of their decades-long dominance in the American League when Tresh became a regular, taking over at shortstop when Tony Kubek went into the Army. He hit .286 with 20 homers and a career-high 93 RBIs in 1962.

Tresh joined a powerful lineup that already boasted Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and helped the Yankees reach the World Series from 1962 through '64.

The switch-hitting Tresh homered in the Game 5 victory over San Francisco in 1962 and made a running, backhanded catch on Willie Mays' drive to left field in the seventh inning in a 1-0 win in Game 7.

Tresh homered off Sandy Koufax in the 1963 Series loss to the Dodgers and homered twice in the 1964 loss to St. Louis, including a shot off Bob Gibson.

Overall, Tresh hit .245 with 153 home runs and 530 RBIs. He was traded by the Yankees to Detroit during the 1969 season and retired at the start of the next season.

Thomas Michael Tresh was born Sept. 20, 1937, in Detroit but grew up in Chicago. His father, Mike, spent 12 years in the major leagues, mostly as a catcher for the White Sox. (The elder Tresh died in 1966.)

Tom Tresh attended Central Michigan University and later was an assistant coach and administrator at the school.

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