Tom Saffell

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Thomas Judson Saffell

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Biographical Information[edit]

Tom Saffell played four seasons in the major leagues and then embarked on a long career as a minor league manager and executive.

He was centerfielder for the 1948 Indianapolis Indians, who won 100 games. He hit .299 with 22 stolen bases.

He was a United States Army Air Force pilot during World War II, flying 61 missions in Europe with the 405th Fighter Squadron of the 371st Fighter Group. He flew the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt.

After his playing career, Tom Saffell embarked on a nomadic minor league managing career in which he managed for 5 different organizations (one twice) over 13 years. In 1960, Saffell led the Reno Silver Sox to the California League title for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a scout in 1961 and managed the Jacksonville Jets. In 1964 Saffell was fined $250 and suspended for 30 days for refusing to send his team to the field for a game.

He then worked as a painter, bartender and salesman in Sarasota, FL for several years. He had earlier been one of the pitchers on the television program Home Run Derby in 1958-1959. Saffell became president of the Gulf Coast League (where he had managed in 1966-1968) in 1980 and held the job until retiring, at age 88, at the end of 2009. After his 30-year run as league president, the championship trophy of the GCL was named the Thomas J. Saffell Trophy in his honor.

Year-by-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1960 Reno Silver Sox California League 89-51 1st Los Angeles Dodgers none League Champs
1961 Jacksonville Jets South Atlantic League 29-52 -- Houston Colt .45's -- replaced by Dixie Howell (22-29) on July 17
1962 Grand Forks Chiefs Northern League 72-52 1st Pittsburgh Pirates Lost in 1st round
1963 Reno Silver Sox California League 71-69 5th Pittsburgh Pirates
1964 Reno Silver Sox California League 7-20
6th Pittsburgh Pirates none replaced by Sandy Johnson (0-2) on May 21
Replaced Harvey Koepf (15-12) on June 20
1965 Batavia Pirates New York-Penn League 47-75 5th (t) Pittsburgh Pirates
1966 GCL Braves Gulf Coast League 27-21 2nd Atlanta Braves none
1967 GCL Braves Gulf Coast League 27-32 5th Atlanta Braves none
1968 GCL White Sox Gulf Coast League 21-37 8th Chicago White Sox none
1969 Appleton Foxes Midwest League 84-41 1st Chicago White Sox none League Champs
1970 Mobile White Sox Southern League -- Chicago White Sox -- replaced by Larry Sherry in July
1971 Monroe Pirates Western Carolinas League 44-77 6th Pittsburgh Pirates
1972 Gastonia Pirates Western Carolinas League 60-70 4th Pittsburgh Pirates

Saffell also was manager for the Chicago White Sox entry in the 1969 Florida Instructional League.

Related Sites[edit]