The 6' 150-lb frame that earned him the sobriquet The Blade didn't stop Hall from
being one of the hardest throwers in the majors (he averaged nearly a strikeout per
inning). Used for starting and relief by Twins teams that won divisional championships
in 1969 and 1970 (Hall lost his Game Two start in the 1970 LCS), he came into his
own after being acquired by the Reds for the 1972 season. Getting plenty of work
in the deep bullpen employed by manager Sparky "Captain Hook" Anderson, Hall was
10-1 with eight saves (3-0 in seven spot starts) for the NL champs. He won Game Two
of the LCS after entering in the fifth inning with two out and two runners on and
a two-ball, no-strike count on the Pirates' Willie Stargell. Hall fanned Stargell
on a called third strike and finished the game, allowing only one run. He also contributed
three innings of scoreless, one-hit relief in Game Five to keep the Reds in the game
for their ninth-inning, come-from-behind, pennant-clinching victory. He continued
his fine work in the World Series, saving Game Six and throwing 8-1/3 scoreless innings
overall in the Reds' losing effort against the A's. After two more solid seasons
with Cincinnati, Hall was dealt to the Mets early in 1975 and then was picked up
by the Royals in May 1976 as Kansas City went on to win its first division title.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»August 13, 1968: Pitching seven 2/3 innings, Tom Hall gains his first ML win as the Twins beat the Senators, 8–4. Washington's Jim Hannan (7-3) takes the loss and doesn't help himself at bat, striking out for the 13th straight time since July 24.
»July 24, 1970:
Hall beats Hall as the Orioles reliever Dick Hall tops the Twins Tom Hall, 6–5. Dick singles in the 8th for his first hit of the year and Don Buford follows with a game-winning home run.
»May 14, 1972:
Happy birthday, Tony. On his 30th birthday, Tony Perez knocks in all the six of the Reds' runs as they sweep a pair from the Cardinals, winning 4–3 and 2–0. The nitecap is a stellar 3-hit, 12 strikeout shutout by pitcher Tom Hall.
»July 9, 1973: In a record-setting walkathon between the Reds and Expos, 25 base on balls are handed out as Montreal strolls to an 11–6 win. Well off the American League's two-team mark of 30, this tops the National League record of 23, last reached on July 7, 1911. Six Montreal pitchers walk 16, one short of the record for an NL team, while Reds pitchers Clay Carroll and Tom Hall walk 9. Hal King pinch hits a grand slam for the Reds in the 6th inning, his 2nd pinch dinger in nine days.