06 January 2014

the danny thompson memorial armband

danny thompson was drafted by the reds, yankees, and senators before finally signing after being taken by the twins in the first round of the 1968 june draft.  by 1972, he had earned the starting shortstop job for the twinkies.  here's his 1975 o-pee-chee card
following that season, in which he hit .276 in 144 games and even garnered some mvp votes, thompson was diagnosed with leukemia.  doctors estimated that thompson had 5 more years of being able to play baseball before the disease affected him.  he returned to the twins in 1973 and was later traded to the rangers during the 1976 season in the bert blyleven deal.

he finished the season with the rangers, hitting .214 in 64 games.  a couple of months after the season ended, thompson passed away at the mayo clinic in rochester, minnesota due to complications from his disease.  he was only 29 years old.

the following season, the rangers wore a black armband with thompson's number 4 on their left sleeves.  you can see it on adrian devine's 1978 topps card
but the card in my memorials collection is mike hargrove's 1978 o-pee-chee issue
the twins did not wear a memorial for thompson, but his former teammate harmon killebrew organized a fundraising golf tournament in his memory that still operates today - the danny thompson memorial golf tournament (now known as the killebrew-thompson memorial golf tournament) which has raised millions of dollars for cancer research since its inception.


JediJeff said...

That is a nice take on the black arm band memorial - band WITH the player number.

gcrl said...

Yankees and red sox have taken this approach, too.