Tuesday, February 13, 2007

100 Greatest Red Sox >> #85 Jim Tabor

Jim Tabor, 3B, #5 (1938-1944)

806 g, 90 hr, 517 rbi, 64 sb/54 cs, .273 avg, .323 obp, .431 slg

It’s time for Jose Melendez’s KEYS TO THE TOP 100 RED SOX.

Jim Tabor
Rollin', rollin', rollin'
His throws he’s not controllin’
40 error years need consolin’

His hitting was much better
Though he din’ flash much leather
Sailing his throws so high and wide
His lifetime OP eh-hess,
It ain’t that great ya gu--hess,
740 don’t give him much pride

Men are on, Batter up
Batter up, men are on
Men are on, Batter up

Throw em out, drive em in
Drive em in, throw em out
Throw em out, drive em in

Keep movin', movin', movin'
His swing it was improving
In ’41 he’s grooving

Played well through ’44
‘Til the army wanted him more
That ended his good Boston ride.
He was sold to Philly .
His play was willy-nilly
At thirty six years old well, he died.

Men are on, Batter up
Batter up, men are on
Men are on, Batter up
Throw em out, drive em in
Drive em in, throw em out
Throw em out, drive em in


As you may have guessed by now, Jose loves the Blues Brothers. Also, Jim Tabor, who played third for the Sox from 1938-1944 was nicknamed "Rawhide." But what do we really know about the man from New Hope, Alabama, a little southern town named for the as yet to be produced fourth chapter of the Star Wars saga? While he debuted in 1938, he didn’t really make his mark as a true rookie until 1939, when his 14 home run 95 RBI debut season was cast into shadow by the far brighter light of fellow rookie Ted Williams. His career was respectable but by no means brilliant. For instance, his top comparable according to Baseball Reference is Aaron Boone, who, as we all know, has yet to do anything of note in his career.

Still, there are a few quirks that make Tabor more noteworthy than the typical .270 career hitter. First, he is one of the small fraternity of players to hit grand slams in consecutive innings, a feat he accomplished on July 4, 1939. Second, he is one of very few major league baseball players whose last name is actually an acronym. TABOR, of course, stands for the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, a controversial Colorado constitutional amendment that has, since 1992, greatly restricted the state’s ability to raise revenue. Among the other Major Leaguers who have an acronym for a last name is Melvin Mora, named for the Michigan Off-road Racing Association. Mora, curiously, is Baseball Reference’s third best comparable for Tabor.

Player biography written by Jose Melendez of Keys to the Game


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