Minnesota Twins Outfielder Bob Allison Dubbed Thin, Sharp Pitcher Tom Hall “Blade”

Posted September 27th, 2011 by Tom Owens and filed in Bob Allison, Jess Flores, Minnesota Twins, Tom Hall
Tom still has “thin and sharp”
handwriting today! I found
this gem on twinscards.com.
It’s a must-stop for Twins fans.

Where have all the nicknames gone?

I remember the late, great Ernie Harwell saying that he believed that a shortened last name, something like “Higgy” for Bobby Higginson, didn’t compare to baseball’s greatest nicknames.

That was one reason I wrote to Tom Hall. His “Blade” nickname seemed like something Marvel Comics invented. Interestingly, it took just one teammate to create such a title. Hall explained:

“Bob Allison gave me that name when I was with the Twins in 1969. He said ‘I was so thin and sharp on the mound.'”

That same year, on Aug. 24, Hall twirled a four-hit masterpiece at home against the Yankees. What made that win memorable?

“Being able to go 9 innings as a relief pitcher.”

Never before had I asked a former player about his first highlight, just getting signed to a pro contract. I’m glad I quizzed Hall. He remembered:

“Jess Flores scouted and signed me in 1966. My mom and dad were present at the signing. It was very exciting. Yes, I did get a signing bonus, nothing like today.”

He concluded his generous letter not with an autograph, but a smiley face exclamation. I like to think of it as The Blade’s self-portrait.

Coming Wednesday: Beyond the stats of Danny Litwhiler.

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