Tom Needham

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Tom Needham
Tom Needham 2163147081 4ec1dc9a6f o.jpg
Tom Needham in November 1913
Catcher
Born: (1879-04-17)April 17, 1879
Ireland
Died: December 14, 1926(1926-12-14) (aged 47)
Steubenville, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 12, 1904, for the Boston Beaneaters
Last MLB appearance
July 8, 1914, for the Chicago Cubs
MLB statistics
Batting average .209
Home runs 8
Runs batted in 117
Teams

Thomas Joseph Needham (April 17, 1879 – December 14, 1926) was an Irish-born Major League Baseball player from 1904 to 1914. He was a catcher with the Boston Beaneaters, New York Giants and Chicago Cubs. Needham hit poorly, hitting below .200 in 8 of his 11 seasons, Needham's career average was .209, due to his first season average of .260. Needham died in his home in Steubenville, Ohio at the age of 47.

Career[edit]

Born in Ireland, Needham lived in Steubenville, Ohio, by his teens. He played baseball there before spending a few seasons in the minor leagues.[1]

Needham was signed in late 1903 by the Boston Beaneaters, and he made his major-league debut with them in 1904. Needham achieved career highs in several offensive categories during the 84 games he played in that first season: he tallied 70 hits, including 12 doubles, and he had a .260 batting average. He stayed with Boston for three more years, playing between 83 and 86 games each season.[2]

After a brief appearance with the New York Giants in 1908, Needham was traded to the Chicago Cubs for a player named Fred Leise before the 1909 season. This seemed to be a good opportunity for Needham, as Cubs catcher Johnny Kling was sitting out the 1909 season to pursue pool playing.[3] However, the team selected Jimmy Archer in that season's rule 5 draft, and Archer became the Cubs starting catcher. Needham hit over .200 only once and never appeared in more than 33 games in any of his six seasons with the Cubs.[2][4]

Needham, who had served as a player-coach in his last couple of seasons with the Cubs, managed the Newark Bears of the International League in 1917.[5] He later served as a pitching coach for the Chicago White Sox and was involved in starting up two minor leagues in Ohio.[1]

Death[edit]

In early December 1926, Needham suffered a stroke. He was taken to Ohio Valley Hospital, where staff members felt that his stroke was too severe to respond to any treatment, so he was taken back home to die.[6] He died on December 14, 1926.[5] He was survived by his wife and two children.[1]

References[edit]

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