Tookie Gilbert

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1952 Topps #61 Tookie Gilbert

Harold Joseph Gilbert

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Biographical Information[edit]

Tookie Gilbert played two years for Leo Durocher's New York Giants in 1950 and 1953.

Born in New Orleans, LA, he was given the nickname "Tookie" by his brothers. As a child, they called him "rookie" when he tagged along to play baseball, and he pronounced it in a way that it sounded like "tookie". One of his brothers was Charlie Gilbert, also a future major leaguer.

At the age of 18, many clubs were interested in him. That may have been because his father (former major leaguer and minor league manager Larry Gilbert, at the time a co-owner of the Nashville Vols) knew a lot of people in the business. The story is that Dad put a bunch of names in a hat, and pulled out "Mel Ott", who was scouting for the Giants. The Giants paid Gilbert $50,000 to sign.

He was with Minneapolis in the American Association and Erie in the Middle Atlantic League in 1947. In 1948, he was with Sioux City in the Western League. In 1949 he was with Nashville. In 1951 he was with Minneapolis again. He also played for the New Orleans Pelicans, in 1959, as he attempted a comeback. He led the Southern Association with 146 runs in 1949 and the American Association with 29 HR in 1951.

Although Tookie hit for a low average in his two major league seasons, he did draw a good number of walks.

After baseball, he was sheriff in Orleans Parish (County) in Louisiana, and died of an apparent heart attack at 38 while driving his car.

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