Tom Tennant

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Thomas Francis Tennant

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Biographical Information[edit]

Tom Tennant a left-hander all the way, signed with the Green Bay Colts of the class D Wisconsin State League after finishing his education at Northern Illinois University in 1906. Tennant had been a pitcher and first baseman during his time in college and in his first season of pro baseball he was on the mound for 53 innings and ended up with a 3-3 record but also played 118 games at first base for the Colts, hitting at a league leading .313 clip with 141 base-hits that were also tops in the league and never returned to the hill again in his eleven-year pro career.

This performance moved Tennant right up the ladder to the Decatur Commodores of the class B Three-I League where he had a decent season in 1907, hitting .261 in 129 games and then in 1908 he turned it up a few notches and again led a league in two categories, hitting at a .310 average and collecting 164 base-hits.

The first baseman then spent the next three seasons (1909-1911) with the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League helping the team to the league pennant in 1909 with 159 base-hits that included 29 doubles. The Seals fell to the third spot in 1910 but Tom came through with a league-leading 231 base-knocks that included 38 doubles and 8 home runs while hitting .270. Tom fell off a touch in 1911 to a .253 average and 179 hits when Portland's Buddy Ryan led just about every category.

Tennant's steady improvement had not gone unnoticed and on April 18, 1912 he made his big league debut with the American League St. Louis Browns. Tom appeared in two contests and go hitless in two at-bats and his major league career was over. Tom spent the rest of the year with the Sioux City Packers of the Western League, hitting at a .312 clip with 183 base-hits that included 33 two-base knocks in 146 games. Right about this time the Browns, who finished seventh in the American League at 53-101 and 53 games in arrears, were probably wondering about the move.

Tennant spent four more seasons (1913-1916) in pro baseball, all in the high minors with the Sacramento Sacts in 1913 being the best of his last years when he hit .299 with 220 base-hits that included 47 two-baggers. Tom finished out with Salt Lake City, Evansville, Mobile and Memphis and left the game after eleven seasons with a .274 minor league career batting average that included 1,825 base-hits and 6,665 at-bats in 1,752 games.

After leaving baseball Tennant worked for thirty years for the Pelton Water Wheel Company of San Francisco, CA, retiring in 1950. A heart attack took Tom's life on February 15, 1955 at the age of 72 at his daughters home in San Carlos, CA.

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