Sunday, January 01, 2006

January 1st, 1932

Tom Parrott Dies

Nicknamed "Tacky Tom" for reasons lost to history, although probably having something to do with his generally clownish behavior, Parrott was a pitcher and outfielder in the 1890s. He managed the relatively neat trick of finishing with an ERA+ and OPS+ that was exactly the same number, ninety-six, a testament to his overall mediocrity as a ballplayer, albeit one who was mediocre on both sides of the ball.

Parrott began his career with the Cubs after he signed with them wholly of his own accord, which was rather upsetting news to the minor league team for whom he had been playing who had sold him to the Reds. There was some ensuing controversy after which Parrott was finally awarded to the Reds for whom he would play from 1893 until 1895. He pitched over three hundred innings in 1894 but was already beginning to have arm troubles--he was twice suspended in controversies centered around whether or not he was fit to pitch--although he would again top two hundred and fifty innings in 1895. In 1896 Parrott was traded to the St. Louis Browns (who, confusingly, are the modern day Cardinals) and although he pitched just a handful of innings, Parrott was one of the team's regular outfielders and finished tenth in the league with seven home runs.

Parrott would never play in the Majors again but instead performing something of a Ricky Williams impression (or, more accurately given the timeline, Ricky Williams performed something of a Tom Parrott impression) wandering around the country, playing baseball when the combination of circumstance and salary met his somewhat eccentric requirements. This wandering would continue through 1907 when he retired from baseball for good and spent the rest of his life as a musician and sometime fireman. After the death of his second wife Parrott moved back to near Portland (his place of birth) where he lived out the rest of his life.

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