Thomas Edison Alston (January 31, 1926 – December 30, 1993) was a Major League Baseball first baseman who played for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1954 to 1957. A native of Greensboro, North Carolina, he stood 6'5" and weighed 210 lbs.
Alston was acquired by St. Louis via a trade with the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League on January 26, 1954, where he played in 180 games in 1953. When he made his Major League debut (April 13, 1954 at Sportsman's Park), he became the first black player in St. Louis Cardinals history. He played in 66 games during his rookie season, batting .246 with 4 home runs and 34 runs batted in. After that, he got into 25 more games over the course of the next three seasons. He spent most of his major league career splitting time between the majors and the Class AAA Omaha Cardinals, where he had a .306 batting average and 21 home runs in 1956.
Career totals for 91 games include a .244 batting average (66-for-271), 4 home runs, 36 RBI, 30 runs scored, and an on-base percentage of .311. In his 81 appearances at first base, he handled 680 out of 689 total chances successfully for a fielding percentage of .987, just slightly under the league average during his era.
Alston's career was handicapped by neurasthenia and other mental disorders which forced his hospitalization after his playing career was over.
- ^ STLtoday.com - Bird Land - Blog Archive - Tom Alston: Seven Years After Jackie, 53 Years Ago Today
By Dean Hanley
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