Place of Birth:
December 31, 1919
Died: December 20, 2007 Wake Forest, North Carolina
Military Unit: US Navy
Area Served: Mediterranean Theater of Operations
J “Tommy” Byrne was born on December 31, 1919 in
Byrne went to
Byrne was 10-7 with the Bears in 1941, and really came alive in 1942 with a sensational 17-4 record and 3.10 ERA for MVP honors. He joined the Yankees in 1943 and made his major league debut on April 27 against the Boston Red Sox. Control problems hampered his early years and Byrne was 2-1 with the Yankees in 11 appearances walking 35 batters in 31 and two-thirds innings.
Before the year was out, Byrne was in military
service with the Navy and commissioned an ensign in November 1943.
Assigned to the Norfolk Naval Training Station in
Later in the year, Byrne served in the
Byrne had attained the rank of lieutenant when he
was discharged from service in January 1946. He joined the Yankees
for spring training in
The Yankees sent the 27-year-old to
Byrne was 15-9 in 1950 and an American League all-star selection but he was traded to the St Louis Browns in June 1951. He also pitched for the White Sox and Senators before returning to the Yankees in 1954. His finest season in the major leagues was during this second stint with the Yankees when, in 1955, he had a 16-5 record with a 3.15 ERA and a World Series win against the Dodgers.
Byrne continued to pitch in the major leagues until 1957. In a 13-year career, he compiled an 85-69 won-loss record and played on five world championship teams.
After baseball, Byrne returned to
He was an active member of the local community
and the first chairman of the Wake Forest Recreation Commission, a
Byrne was inducted in the North Carolina Sports
Hall of Fame, the Baltimore City College Hall of Fame, the Wake
Forest University Sports Hall of Fame and the Maryland Sports Hall
of Fame. He was presented the Wake Forest Birthplace Society
Distinguished Service Award and a Tommy Byrne Day was held on
September 9, 2007 on the grounds of the
Tommy Byrne, a hugely loved figure in the local
area, passed away on December 20, 2007 in
Thanks to Greg Allen, publisher of The Wake Weekly for help with this biography and the above photo.
Created January 2, 2008.
Copyright © 2007 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.