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January 8, 1933 |
|September 9, 1958, for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 2, 1963, for the Cleveland Indians|
|Runs batted in||174|
Willie Tasby Jr. (born January 8, 1933 in Shreveport, Louisiana) was a Major League Baseball player for six seasons, all in the American League. Tasby came up with the Baltimore Orioles and spent time with the Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, and Cleveland Indians. Willie was primarily an outfielder, appearing in just two games in the infield in his 583-game career.
Tasby made his major league debut on September 18, 1958, and played in 18 games for the Orioles at the end of the season. Willie's performance in 1959 was solid as he played 142 games, batted .250 with 13 home runs, while patrolling center field for the Orioles. Baltimore's sixth-place finish in the AL was not impressive, but Tasby's rookie performance was, as he was selected to the inaugural Topps All-Star Rookie Team along with future Hall of Famer Willie McCovey.
In 1960, the Orioles were much improved. They contended for the AL pennant until late September. In June, however, with a tenuous hold on first place, they were swept in a four-game series at home by the Detroit Tigers. June 9 was the low point for Tasby, though, as his Orioles lost both ends of a double header to the Tigers and then traded him to the last place Red Sox. Boston plugged Willie right into their lineup, and the center fielder responded with a career-best .281 batting average.
Tasby's performance for the Sox garnered some attention as he became an expansion draft selection of the Washington Senators. Washington's opening season showed promise for Tasby. He started in center field for the Senators and hit a career high 17 home runs and collected 63 RBI in 141 games. Unfortunately, it was not as promising as it appeared. After just 11 games in 1962, Willie was traded by the Senators to the Cleveland Indians for a couple of pitchers. Tasby scratched out 127 games over two partial seasons with Cleveland to finish his career.