Former Yankees shortstop, outfielder Tresh dies

VENICE, Fla. -- Tom Tresh, the 1962 AL Rookie of the Year and part of three New York Yankees teams that reached the World Series, has died. He was 71.

Tresh died Wednesday after a heart attack, according to the funeral home handling the arrangements.

Tresh was an 1962 All-Star as a shortstop and made the team again in 1963 as a center fielder. He later earned a Gold Glove in the outfield.

"Tommy was a great teammate," Yankees great Yogi Berra said in a statement. "He did everything well as a ballplayer and was an easy guy to manage."

The Yankees were nearing the end of their decades-long dominance in the AL when Tresh became a regular, taking over at shortstop when Tony Kubek went to serve in the Army. He hit .286 with 20 homers and a career-high 93 RBIs in 1962.

Tresh joined a powerful lineup that already boasted the likes of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris and helped the Yankees reach the World Series from 1962-64.

The switch-hitting Tresh homered in the Game 5 victory over San Francisco in 1962, and made a running, backhanded catch on Willie Mays' drive to left field in the seventh inning in a 1-0 win in Game 7.

Tresh homered off Sandy Koufax in the 1963 Series loss to Los Angeles and homered twice in the 1964 loss to St. Louis, including a shot off Bob Gibson.

Overall, Tresh hit .245 overall with 153 home runs and 530 RBIs. He was traded by the Yankees to Detroit during the 1969 season and retired after that season.

Tresh, who was born in Detroit, attended Central Michigan and later was an assistant coach at the school.

"This hurts. He was my roommate for six years of my life, my hitting instructor and my best friend. He let me be me, but he was also the guy who kept me in at night," longtime teammate Joe Pepitone said.

"Tommy was a constant in my life and a calming influence. He was always there for me and stuck up for me. He was like my brother. When I had personal issues, he was always the person on the team I would turn to. During some rain delays, he would take out his guitar and we'd sing and dance," he said.

Tresh's father, Mike, spent 12 years in the majors, mostly as a catcher for the Chicago White Sox.

In 1945, he was picked in an Associated Press poll of major league managers on who should be All-Stars -- there was no official list and no game that year because of World War II travel restrictions.

A memorial service will held Sunday in Venice and on Oct. 24 on the Central Michigan campus.