Tom Rogers (baseball)
Rogers with the 1916 Nashville Vols
|Born: February 12, 1892|
|Died: October 1, 1936 (aged 44)|
|April 14, 1917, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1921, for the New York Yankees|
Rogers, who was born in Sparta, Tennessee, and grew up in Gallatin, Tennessee, began his professional career with the Nashville Vols of the Southern Association in 1914. In two seasons with the Vols, Rogers' had a career win–loss record of 17–20 in 46 games, having allowed 149 runs on 305 hits. The St. Louis Browns were close to signing Rogers to a major league contract in 1915, but they felt he was not yet ready and, instead, he continued with Nashville in 1916.
On June 19, 1916, Rogers was involved in an incident in which he accidentally killed an opposing batter. Playing against the Mobile Sea Gulls, Rogers hit longtime friend and former teammate Johnny Dodge in the temple with a pitch, knocking him unconscious. Dodge was helped to stand and led to the showers where he shortly died of a brain hemorrhage.
On July 11, 1916, on only two-days' rest, Rogers pitched a perfect game against the Chattanooga Lookouts at Sulphur Dell ballpark in Nashville. The Lookouts nearly recorded a hit in the second inning when Joe Harris lead off with a sharply hit line drive to right-center field. Center fielder Billy Lee made a diving catch at the base of the notorious Sulphur Dell right field incline, saving the perfect game bid in its early stages. A second great defensive play was made by Vols left fielder Gus Williams in the top of the seventh when he crashed into the left field bleacher fence in the act of catching Jake Pitler's sharply-hit ball to left. With two outs in the top of the ninth inning, John Peters came in to pinch hit for pitcher James Allen. He hit a soft fly ball to second base which was fielded by Thomas Sheehan for the final out. In all, Rogers struck out 4 of the 27 batters he faced. The game lasted just 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Thomas "Shotgun" Rogers climbed yesterday to the proudest pinnacle in the baseball world. The Gallatin Gunner, in the most gallant exhibition of slab work ever unfurled in this section of the more or less United States, reported with that fondly cherished dream of every gent who makes the diamond his habitat—a perfect game. One unmarred by either a run, a hit, or a hostile son of swat reaching the initial corner.— The Tennessean, July 12, 1916
Having signed with the American League's St. Louis Browns for 1917, Rogers made his major league debut on April 14 against the Chicago White Sox at Sportsman's Park. Coming into the game in relief, Rogers pitched 7 innings allowing 4 runs (3 earned) while striking out 3 and walking 4 of the 25 batters he faced without figuring in the decision. He appeared in 24 games that year, including 8 starts, ending with a 3.89 earned run average (ERA) with 27 strikeouts and a 3–6 record over 108 2⁄3 innings.
He improved in 1918, pitching 154 innings across 29 games with 16 starts. His ERA lowered to 3.27 as he struck out 29 hitters and acquired an 8–10 record. Rogers pitched just 1 inning across 2 games for the 1919 Browns before his contract was sold in May to the Philadelphia Athletics for US$2,000. With the Athletics, he posted a 4.31 ERA with 37 strikeouts and a 4–12 record over 140 innings. He played the 1920 season with the International League's Buffalo Bisons.
Though playing most of the 1921 season with Buffalo, Rogers, pitched five games for the New York Yankees that September. In 5 games out of the bullpen, he had an ERA of 7.36 and an 0–1 record in 11 innings of work. His final appearance came on October 7 in Game 3 of the 1921 World Series, pitching the last 1 1⁄3 innings in a 13–5 loss to the New York Giants.
Rogers continued to play for various minor league teams in each succeeding year, before playing his final professional season with the Quincy Indians of the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League in 1930. His career minor league record was 154–117, while his major league record was 15–30 with a 3.95 ERA.
- Devenport, John (August 19, 2007). "Baseball Death Jogs Painful Memory for Longtime Fan". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- "Tom Rogers Minor League Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- Traughber, Bill (August 1, 2011). "Looking Back: Tom Rogers Perfect Game". Nashville Sounds. Minor League Baseball. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
- McGill, Chuck. "Minor League No-Hitters". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "Tom Rogers' Perfect Game - July 11, 1916" (PDF). 2015 Nashville Sounds Media Guide. Nashville Sounds. 2015. p. 204. Archived from the original on April 7, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
- "Timeline" (PDF). Southern Association Baseball. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- "Single Season Wins". Southern Association Baseball. Retrieved September 13, 2015.
- "Chicago White Sox at St. Louis Browns Box Score, April 14, 1917". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
- "Tom Rogers Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
- "1921 World Series Game 3, New York Yankees at New York Giants, October 7, 1921". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference. Retrieved March 8, 2019.