June 9, 1946 |
Los Angeles, California
|May 27, 1965, for the California Angels|
|Last MLB appearance|
|June 15, 1975, for the California Angels|
Thomas Patrick Egan (born June 9, 1946, in Los Angeles, California) is a retired professional baseball player who played 10 seasons for the California Angels and Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball. On September 28, 1974, he caught Nolan Ryan's third no-hitter.
Egan was just 18 years old when he made his Major League debut on May 27, 1965. Before a crowd of only 1,898 in Washington, D.C., he was the last batter of the Angels' game against the Washington Senators, representing the tying run as the Angels trailed 9-6 with two men on base. Egan struck out against Ron Kline to end the game.
After arguably his best season in 1970, he was traded to the White Sox. But he was reclaimed by the Angels off waivers a few seasons later, and while he ended up with a mere .200 lifetime batting average, Egan's career highlight occurred in the final week of the 1974 season.
Given the assignment to catch Nolan Ryan, a future Hall of Famer, in a Sept. 24 game at Anaheim against the Minnesota Twins, he was behind the plate when Ryan nailed down the third no-hitter of his career. With two out in the ninth inning, Harmon Killebrew, another future Hall of Famer, came up for the Twins to pinch-hit. Ryan walked him, then fanned Eric Soderholm to end the game, Ryan's 15th strikeout of the day.
A story for the May 13, 1991 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine tracked down each catcher who handled Ryan's no-hitters. Egan, a sales manager for a trucking firm at the time, said he could tell Ryan had no-hit stuff from the first pitch, which rose abruptly after Egan thought it was about to hit the dirt. After the game, Egan added, "Nolan gave me $500. He gave every player on the field a bonus. He came around and thanked everyone for a job well done."
Egan would be released by the Angels in 1975 and his career came to an end.
- Tom Egan, The Baseball Cube. Accessed September 19, 2007.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
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