10/16/2008 1:26 PM ET
New York Yankees reflect on the passing of former player Tom Tresh
On Wednesday, October 15, former Yankee Tom Tresh passed away at the age of 71 in Venice, Fla. Tresh earned American League "Rookie of the Year" honors in 1962, batting .286 with 20 home runs and 93 RBI, helping lead the Yankees to the World Series title that season. A player with the Yankees from 1961-69, Tresh was a member of three World Championship teams (1962, '63, '64), was a three-time All-Star (1962-both games and 1963) and won the Gold Glove in 1965.
The switch-hitter started at shortstop on Opening Day in 1962, a feat that would not be accomplished by another Yankees rookie until Derek Jeter in 1996. He also joined Joe DiMaggio (1936) as the only Yankees rookies to start for the AL squad in an All-Star Game. Tresh's father, Mike, was a catcher with the White Sox from 1938-49.
The family will hold a memorial service on Sunday, October 19 at 1:30 p.m. at the Unity Church of Venice, located at 125 North Jackson Rd., Venice, Fla., 34292. Central Michigan University, where Tresh played college baseball and returned in the offseasons to earn his college degree, will hold a memorial open to the public at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, October 24, at Theunissen Stadium on campus. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that a donation be made in Tom's name to the Unity Church of Venice.
"Tommy was a great teammate. He did everything well as a ballplayer and was an easy guy to manage. He was a good man and great friend. We're going to miss him."
-- Yogi Berra (teammate 1961-63, Manager 1964)
"Tom was a great teammate. We all loved him and we're sorry that we've lost him. He will be missed."
-- Whitey Ford (teammate, 1961-67)
"This hurts. He was my roommate for six years of my life, my hitting instructor and my best friend. He let me be me, but he was also the guy who kept me in at night. Tommy was a constant in my life and a calming influence. He was always there for me and stuck up for me. He was like my brother. When I had personal issues, he was always the person on the team I would turn to. During some rain delays, he would take out his guitar and we'd sing and dance."
-- Joe Pepitone (teammate, 1962-69)
"He was a heck of a person and a tough ballplayer. He loved people. He'd always ask me why I was riding him so hard, and I told him I made a promise to his father that I'd always keep him in line. And I did."
-- Moose Skowron (teammate, 1961-62)
"Tom was a good friend of mine when we played, but also long after we hung up our spikes. He was a wonderful, happy-go-lucky guy. I don't think I can ever remember him being mad. When my family held my retirement party in Atlanta back in 2000, he was the only former teammate who came to celebrate with us."
-- Bob Turley (teammate, 1961-62)