Sunday, November 12, 2017

Tom McCraw (#141)

Here is Tom McCraw, during his last season before becoming the White Sox’ every-day 1st baseman.

Tom was signed by the White Sox in 1960 and played in the minors for 3 ½ seasons before making his major-league debut in June 1963.

In his first 4 seasons, he platooned at 1st base (initially with Joe Cunningham, then Moose Skowron) while also getting in some games in the outfield.

During the first few weeks of the 1967 season, Skowron was traded to the Angels, so McCraw was the every-day first-sacker for the next 2 seasons, starting over 110 games there each season, and a few dozen more in the outfield.

After a few seasons, Gail Hopkins and then Carlos May took over that spot, so McCraw was traded to the Senators in early-1971 for outfielder Ed Stroud (who had begun his career with the Sox a few years earlier).  On September 30th, he made the final out in the Washington Senators’ franchise final game.

McCraw played for 13 years, the first 8 with Chicago. After that, he bounced around frequently. Following only 1 season in Washington, he moved on to the Indians (1972), Angels (1973-74), and back to the Indians (July ’74).

Tom played his last game on 6/24/75, and was released a week later, ending his career.

After his playing days, he spent 23 seasons as a batting coach for the Indians, Giants, Orioles, Astros, Mets, Expos, and Nationals.