A high school All-American in baseball and football, the 6'4" Egan signed for $100,000
with California, and was converted from third base to catcher as a 19-year-old rookie
in 1965. Egan allowed five passed balls in one game (7/28/70), then an AL record,
but none the rest of the year. Always a backup, he had some power, but struck out
once every three at-bats. In 1971, Egan was featured in a national ad campaign for
life insurance that never mentioned that he played baseball.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 4, 1960:
The Orioles C Gus Triandos sets American League records with three passed balls in one inning (6th) and four in one game, but Hoyt Wilhelm, making a rare start, goes seven innings and gets credit for a 6–4 Baltimore win over the White Sox. Early Wynn records his 2,000th strikeout in a no-decision effort for the Sox. Triandos' PB mark for an inning will be tied by reserve backstop Myron Ginsberg in six days, and Tom Egan will collect five PBs in 1970 to erase Gus' name.
»July 28, 1970: A bad day for Angels C Tom Egan: he is charged with five passed balls, all with different pitchers, and he drops a throw for an error to permit what proves to be the winning run in a 6–5 loss to the Yankees. Egan does get his name in the American League record book with the five passed balls.