Johnny Tobin (tobinjo02)

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John Patrick Tobin

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Biographical Information[edit]

Brother of Jim Tobin, Johnny Tobin was the regular third baseman for the 1945 Boston Red Sox in his only season in the big leagues.

"Jackie" Tobin allegedly had an abundance of talent, but wasted it with his fondness for drink. Boston shortstop Eddie Lake said Jackie could run, hit, field and throw. Teetotaler Eddie also said Tobin was the worst of the heavy drinkers who played for the Red Sox, and that Tobin didn't stop drinking until the game started.

His former Red Sox teammates have told a number of stories about Jackie showing up and playing drunk. One time, Eddie Lake was so concerned about a drunken Tobin's play at third base that he begged manager Joe Cronin to let him play third. "He's gonna get killed," Lake said. A disgusted Cronin refused the request, saying, "To hell, let him get killed."

Cronin is said to have offered Jackie $5,000 to stay sober for three months. A few weeks after the offer, Tobin showed up for a game soused to the eyeballs.

A nearly 40-year-old Cronin had to call the commissioner's office to take himself out of retirement to play third for three games because of Tobin's drunkenness. The next year, with the war over, Tobin was gone and the Red Sox tried out seven different players at third. Tobin had some decent years in the Pacific Coast League after leaving the Red Sox.

Tobin's greatest fame is that he replaced another heavy drinker, Jim Tabor, at third. Like Tabor, Tobin was also a returning veteran.

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