Tommy Bridges, whose major league career spanned 16 season all with the Detroit Tigers, was born in Gordonsville, Tennessee on December 28, 1906. A pitcher who finished with a 194-138 lifetime record, Bridges also had a 50-36 lifetime minor league record with five teams in six seasons.
Upon joining Detroit in 1930, the first batter he faced was Babe Ruth who grounded out on Bridges’ first major league pitch; Bridges then proceeded to strike out Lou Gehrig. On August 5, 1932 Bridges came within one out of pitching a perfect game.
In 1934 he gave up Ruth’s 700th lifetime home run.
A six-time All Star selection, his 23 wins and 175 strikeouts led the league in 1936, and led by his well-known curveball. Bridges was named the No. 2 sports hero of 1935 in a nationwide poll behind Notre Dame football player Andy Pilney.
Bridges played in the 1934, 1935, 1940, and 1945 World Series for Detroit. He became a scout and coach for the Cincinnati Reds in 1951 and was later a scout for the Tigers and the New York Mets.
Bridges passed away in Nashville, Tennessee in 1968 at the age of 61 and is buried in Ridgewood Cemetery in Carthage, Tennessee.