Tim Thompson

From BR Bullpen

Charley Thompson.jpg

Charles Lemoine Thompson

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 190 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Tim Thompson , who had quit school to serve in the United States military during World War II, was signed as an amateur free agent by the Brooklyn Dodgers before the 1947 season. The bespectacled back-stop, said to be the first National League catcher to wear glasses, was assigned to the Cambridge Dodgers of the Eastern Shore League and the 23-year-old appeared in 114 games and hit for an average of .349, helping his team to the league championship. Tim or "Charley" as he was sometimes called also tied for the league lead in base hits with 162 and was chosen for the All-Star team.

Tim spent seven years (1947-1953) before getting his first chance at the major leagues, always hitting right at the .300 mark and catching over 100 games per year. 1952 saw Tim with the Montreal Royals of the International League where he hit .303 in 115 games, helping his team to the league pennant; he also did the catching for the All-Star team. Thompson was with the Montreal club again in 1953, hitting at a .293 clip with 10 home runs in 109 games. Montreal finished second in the league but rallied to win the league play-offs and Thompson was again chosen to catch the All-Star game.

Thompson was finally called up to Ebbets Field with the Dodgers for the first time at age 30 in 1954. He talked about his big league debut: "My first game was the only time I ever played in the outfield. It was in St. Louis. Dick Williams was ejected, and I was the only one left on the bench. Steve Bilko lined a single and I thought I nailed Dick Schofield at the plate with a good throw, but he slid between Roy Campanella's legs to score. I kidded Campy that if he had blocked the plate I would have been a hero."

Tim, who had just two base hits in 13 at-bats for the Dodgers spent the rest of the year with the Montreal Royals, hitting .305 in 75 games. He spent 1955 with the St. Paul Saints of the American Association, hitting .313 and catching 121 games. This got him traded to the Kansas City Athletics on April 16, 1956, in return for Tom Saffell, Lee Wheat and cash. Thompson spent 1956 and 1957 with the Athletics and finished out his major league run with he Detroit Tigers in 1958 with a career .238 batting average in 187 games. He also finished with a fine fielding percentage of .990.

Thompson spent the remainder of his active baseball career with the AAA Toronto Maple Leafs, retiring from active play after 1962 with a 14-year minor league career .293 batting average in 1,426 games and a fielding percentage of .991. Following a few years as a player-coach at Toronto, he was a scout and later a supervisor of scouting for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1964 to 1994. He spent the rest of the 1990s in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization as a scout and since 2000 he has worked in the same capacity for the Baltimore Orioles. As of last notice he was residing in Lewistown, Pennsylvania.

His wife, Lois, died two days after his passing. His son, Tim Thompson, pitched in the minor leagues in the 1960s and 1970s.


Baseball Players of the 1950s

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