Tony Taylor (baseball)
Antonio Nemesio (Sanchez) Taylor (born December 19, 1935), is a Cuban former professional baseball second baseman, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs (1958–1960), Philadelphia Phillies (1960–1971, 1974–1976), and Detroit Tigers (1971–1973). He batted and threw right-handed. Taylor was inducted into the Philadelphia Phillies Wall of Fame in 2002.
Taylor with the Florida Marlins in 2001
|Born: December 19, 1935|
Central Álava, Cuba
|April 15, 1958, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1976, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Runs batted in||598|
|Career highlights and awards|
Taylor signed at age 18 as a third baseman in the New York Giants organization. He debuted in the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 1958; he was their starting second baseman in 1958 and 1959.
Taylor had a small role in one of baseball history's weirdest plays. It took place on June 30, 1959, when the St. Louis Cardinals played the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Stan Musial was at the plate facing Bob Anderson with a count of 3–1. Anderson's next pitch was errant, the ball evaded catcher Sammy Taylor and rolled all the way to the backstop. Umpire Vic Delmore called "ball four", but Anderson and Taylor contended that Musial foul tipped the ball. Because the ball was still in play and Delmore was embroiled in an argument with Anderson and Taylor, Musial tried to run for second base. Seeing that Musial was running to second, third baseman Alvin Dark ran to the backstop to retrieve the ball. The ball wound up in the hands of field announcer Pat Pieper, but Dark ended up getting it back anyway. Absentmindedly, however, Delmore pulled out a new baseball and gave it to Taylor. When Anderson noticed that Musial was trying for second, he took the new ball from Sammy Taylor and threw it towards Tony Taylor covering second base, and the ball went over Taylor's head into the outfield. At the same time that Anderson threw the new ball towards second baseman Taylor, Dark threw the original ball to shortstop Ernie Banks. Musial did not see the throw and he was declared out when the tag was made.
Taylor was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with Cal Neeman for Don Cardwell and Ed Bouchee early in the 1960 season. Despite the fact that Philadelphia was a mediocre team, Taylor established himself and was named to the National League All-Star team that year.
A solid and dependable performer, Taylor held the record having played in 1,003 games for the Phillies at second base (the record was later broken by Chase Utley), and his six steals of home, ranks him second on the Phillies' all-time list.
Taylor was among the first athletes in history to appear on a live satellite broadcast feed. On July 22, 1962, the first live transatlantic broadcast was made, relayed by Telstar in the 20 minutes that it orbited over the Atlantic Ocean. As lead-in filler before a speech by President Kennedy, a 90-second clip of a televised game between Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field, featuring Tony Taylor hitting a ball pitched by Cal Koonce to right fielder George Altman, was captured and broadcast live to Europe.
In 1963, Taylor hit .281 and collected career highs in runs (102) and hits (182), and the next season, he made the defensive play that saved Jim Bunning's perfect game. In 1970, he hit a career-high .301 average with 26 doubles, nine triples and nine homers.
Dealt to the Detroit Tigers in the 1971 midseason, Taylor helped them to a division title a year later. A free agent before the 1974 season, he signed again with the Phillies and became a valuable utility man and pinch hitter for his final three major league seasons.
- Pietrusza, David; Matthew Silverman; Gershman, Michael (2000). Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia. New York: Total Sports. p. 1113. ISBN 1-892129-34-5.
- "Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society's Official Website and Online Shoppe". Archived from the original on 2010-04-10. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- "Tony Taylor Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- Musial Is First in History Put Out By 2 Baseballs!
- Charlton, James; Shatzkin, Mike; Holtje, Stephen (1990). The Ballplayers: baseball's ultimate biographical reference. New York: Arbor House/William Morrow. p. 1072. ISBN 0-87795-984-6.