Tony Taylor (baseball)
Born: December 19, 1935|
Central Alava, 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|
Antonio Nemesio (Sanchez) Taylor (born December 19, 1935 in Central Alava, Cuba) is a former Cuban professional baseball player. He spent 19-years in Major League Baseball playing for the Chicago Cubs (1958–60), Philadelphia Phillies (1960–71 and 1974–76), and Detroit Tigers (1971–73) as a second baseman. He batted and threw right-handed. He was inducted into the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame in 2002.
Taylor had signed at age 18 as third baseman in the New York Giants organization but didn't go there and make their roster, but came to the major leagues with the Chicago Cubs in 1958 where he was their starting second baseman in 1958 and 1959.
Tony Taylor had a small role in one of baseball history's weirdest plays. It took place during a game played on June 30, 1959, between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs. Stan Musial was at the plate, with a count of 3–1. Bob Anderson's next pitch was errant, evading catcher Sammy Taylor and rolling all the way to the backstop. Umpire Vic Delmore called ball four, however Anderson and Taylor contended that Musial foul tipped the ball. Because the ball was still in play, and because Delmore was embroiled in an argument with the catcher and pitcher, Musial took it upon himself to try for second base. Seeing that Musial was trying for 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 ball and gave it to Taylor. Anderson finally noticed that Musial was trying for second, took the new ball, and threw it to second baseman Taylor. Anderson's throw flew over Tony Taylor's head into the outfield. Dark, at the same time that Anderson threw the new ball, threw the original ball to shortstop Ernie Banks. Musial, though, did not see Dark's throw and only noticed Anderson's ball fly over the second baseman's head, so he tried to go to third base. On his way there, he was tagged by Banks, and after a delay he was ruled out.
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 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 22 July 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.
- 1972 American League Championship Series
- List of Major League Baseball career hits leaders
- List of Major League Baseball career stolen bases leaders
- List of Major League Baseball players from Cuba
- List of Major League Baseball career runs scored leaders
- 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". 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.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube