Thomas Francis Padden (October 6, 1908 – June 10, 1973) was an American professional baseball player and manager. The catcher appeared in 399 Major League games during the 1930s and 1940s, 379 of them with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1932–1937). He also appeared for the Philadelphia Phillies (17 games in 1943), and Washington Senators (three games, also in 1943) during the World War II manpower shortage. A native of Manchester, New Hampshire, he stood 5 feet 8¼ inches (1.73 m) tall and weighed 170 pounds (77 kg).
Padden attended The College of the Holy Cross and graduated from Saint Anselm College. He began his professional baseball career in 1928 with his hometown Manchester Blue Sox. He made his Major League debut on May 29, 1932, for the Pirates in a road game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. His two best seasons were 1934, when he batted .321 in 82 games, and 1935, in which he had career-highs of 97 games played, 302 at bats, and 35 runs scored.
Career totals include a batting average of .272, 318 hits, including 40 doubles and two home runs, a .345 on-base percentage, 110 runs batted in, and 122 runs scored. His two home runs came off Al Smith of the New York Giants on August 26, 1935, and Al Hollingsworth of the Cincinnati Reds on August 7, 1936. He was an average defensive catcher for his era, with a lifetime fielding percentage of .977. Notable Pirate teammates who were future Hall of Famers were Burleigh Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Freddie Lindstrom, Pie Traynor, Arky Vaughan, Lloyd Waner, and Paul Waner.
Padden spent the 1948 season as manager of his hometown Manchester Yankees of the Class B New England League, an affiliate of the New York Yankees. He died in Manchester at the age of 64, and is buried in Saint Joseph Cemetery, Bedford, New Hampshire.
- ^ Retrosheet
By Dean Hanley
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