Date and Place of Birth: December 28, 1906 Gordonsville, Tennessee
Died: April 19, 1968 Nashville, Tennessee
Military Unit: US Army
Area Served: United States
Major League Stats: Tommy Bridges on Baseball-Almanac
Within a couple of seasons, Bridges had established himself as a dominant member of the Tigers’ starting rotation. Until entering military service following the 1943 season, he won 20 games or more three times, was a six-time all-star, and won the deciding game of the 1935 World Series against the Cubs. On August 5, 1932, he came within one out of a perfect game against the Washington Senators, before Dave Harris hit a pinch-hit single.
When Bridges joined the Army on November 20,
1943, he had won 192 games for the Tigers. He was assigned to
In December 1944, Sergeant Bridges – who was 37 at the time - told The Sporting News that he felt time would be a very decisive factor in determining whether athletes in service would be able to make a comeback after the war. "Big time athletes have a chance to come back after the war - with a big 'if'," declared the veteran. “The younger ones can make the grade again, no matter what sport, and some of the older ones may get in a season or two if not retained in the service too long.
“The topflight performer never loses the 'feel'
of his game, it is age that keeps gaining on him, not competition.
All the angles of performing the easy way, a thorough knowledge of
the game, and knowing the tricks of the trade add up to the
all-important quality called experience.
"This asset alone has kept many an athlete in the game when many, ignorant of sports, wonder why he wasn't finished long ago. You can't buy experience and it often outweighs mere youth."
Bridges completed his military service at Fort
George C Meade,
Bridges coached at
Tommy Bridges, suffering from cancer, passed away
on April 19, 1968 in
Created February 14, 2008.
Copyright © 2015 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.