Former major league outfielder, Mets front-office exec Holmes dies

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Tommy Holmes, who hit in 37 consecutive games in 1945 to set a modern National League record that stood until it was broken by Pete Rose, died Monday. He was 91.

Holmes died of natural causes at an assisted living facility, daughter Patricia Stone said.

Holmes' hitting streak came while he played for the Boston Braves and is the ninth longest in major league history. Rose hit in 44 in a row in 1978, the post-1900 NL mark. Monday was Rose's 67th birthday.

In 11 years in the majors with the Braves and Brooklyn Dodgers, Holmes had a .302 batting average, 88 home runs and 581 RBIs. From 1973 to 2003, he worked for the New York Mets as director of amateur baseball relations.

"Tommy Holmes was one of our sport's truest gentlemen," said Jeff Wilpon, chief operating officer of the Mets. "His passion for the game and up-and-coming players, along with his 30-year association with our franchise, was unsurpassed."

Stone said her father loved baseball and watched games until the end of his life.

"When he played baseball, there would be days he'd leave early and he'd pass children playing and he'd stop to play with them," she said.

Besides his daughter, Holmes is survived by his wife of 67 years, the former Lillian Petterson; a son, Tommy Holmes Jr.; two sisters; two grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.