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Carl Tumlinson

 

Date and Place of Birth: March 31, 1932 Phoenix, AZ
Date and Place of Death:    April 7, 1953 North Korea
Baseball Experience: Minor League
Position: Shortstop
Rank: Private
Military Unit: Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regimental Combat Team US Army
Area Served: Korea

Carl Tumlinson was a heavy-hitting shortstop in the Dodgers farm system who may have replaced Pee Wee Reese at Ebbetts Field.

Carl "Duane" Tumlinson was born on March 31, 1932 in Phoenix, Arizona, the son of Carlos and Dorothy Tumlinson. Known as Duane during his teenage years, he attended Union High School in Phoenix where he was an outstanding baseball and basketball player, earning honorable mention in the Class A High School Basketball championship.

The big-hitting shortstop was pursued by a number of major league clubs during his senior year and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers upon graduation, as reported by the Tucson Daily Citizen on June 12, 1950:

"Duane Tumlinson, 18-year-old former Phoenix Union high school infield star, reports today to the Santa Barbara club of the Class C California State League. He is expected to take over the regular shortstop assignment immediately. Tumlinson was signed to a $6,000 contract by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He spurned a number of major
league bonus offers."

Tumlinson played 86 games for the Santa Barbara Dodgers during 1950 and batted a very respectable .271 with 22 doubles. In 1951, he was advanced to Class B with the Newport News Dodgers of the Piedmont League. In 10 games he hit .240 and was assigned to the Greenwood Dodgers of the Class C Cotton States League. The 19-year-old proved to be one of the league's top hitters. On June 24, he hit two home runs, one a grand slam, in a win over Hot Springs. The Greenville Delta Democrat Times commented that day on how he was gaining on batting leader Jim Gilbert:

"Carl Tumlinson, Greenwood, picked up 13 points in batting during the week ending June 19 and pulled to within 13 points of the Cotton States League leader, Jim Gilbert of Natchez. The Dodger shortstop rapped out 10 hits in 21 times at bat to boost his mace mark to .373, while Gilbert was dropping 11 points to .386 by virtue of only four safeties in 16 tries, according to the records of the Friend News Service, loop statistician."

Tumlinson dropped off the pace during the tail-end of the season although he still came through in style on occasion. On August 15, he blasted a home run, single and double to drive in four runs against Clarksdale. He finished the year with a .319 batting average, 30 doubles and 19 home runs and was named to the league all-star team (Jim Gilbert won the batting title with a .352 average).

In 1952, Tumlinson advanced to the Elmira Pioneers of the Class A Eastern League. He got off to a great start and was hitting .314 in mid-May, but then received his army draft notice to report for military duty in July. Tumlinson pretty well went through the motions until it was time to leave the club. In his last game (June 18), batting in the number three spot, he went 1-for-5, hitting a double in the sixth inning against Albany's Stan McWilliams. He headed home to his parents in Phoenix, having played 53 games and batted .258 with five home runs. His replacement at shortstop was Bob Lillis, who batted just .203 for the remainder of the season but went on to enjoy a 10-year big league career.

On July 4, 1952, Tumlinson left Phoenix to return to Elmira, New York, where he was inducted in the Army on July 8. Private Carl Tumlinson served in Korea with Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry Regimental Combat Team. He was killed in action on April 7, 1953. Private Tumlinson was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman's Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal.

Sources:
Tucson Daily Citizen December 13, 1948
Tucson Daily Citizen March 7, 1949
Yuma Daily Sun March 25, 1950
Tucson Daily Citizen June 12, 1950
Greenville Delta Democrat Times June 24, 1951
Biloxi Daily Herald August 16, 1951
Biloxi Daily Herald September 3, 1951
Albany Knickerbocker News May 17, 1952
Albany Knickerbocker News June 18, 1952
Albany Knickerbocker News June 19, 1952
Binghamton Press April 22, 1953
Phoenix Arizona Republic Phoenix Arizona July 4, 1952
www.baseball-reference.com
photo of Carl located at www.baseball.aboutgreenwoodms.com

Date Added February 20, 2013

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