New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Category Archives: T

Arnold Tucker


Arnold Tucker (College football.  Born, Calhoun Falls, SC, Jan. 5, 1924.)  During the years 1944-46, there were few better playing assignments in college football than quarterbacking the West Point teams featuring Glenn Davis (q.v.) and Doc Blanchard (q.v.) as the running backs.  As it happened, that assignment fell to young Arnold Tucker.  Over the course of those three seasons, Army won 27 of 28 games and played a scoreless tie with Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium.  Most of the attention fell on Blanchard and Davis but, in 1946, Tucker made several all-America teams and was chosen the Sullivan Award winner as the outstanding amateur athlete in the U.S.  He served in the U.S. Army until 1974, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.  He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

Eddie Tryon


Eddie Tryon (Pro football.  Born, Medford, MA, July 25, 1900; died, St. Petersburg, FL, May 1, 1982.)  As a four-year letterman who captain the unbeaten Colgate team of 1925 (7-0-2), Joseph Edward Tryon was a major name for the embryonic Football Yankees of 1926.  Tryon scored 111 points with 15 touchdowns as a college senior, earning all-America recognition.  He was in a pro backfield with Illinois’ celebrated Red Grange (q.v.) and Columbia’s captain George Pease (q.v.).  In the event, Tryon didn’t disappoint, leading the A.F.L. in scoring (72 points) on nine touchdowns, 12 extra points, and two field goals.  When the Yankees moved to the N.F.L. in 1927, he tied for the league lead in touchdowns (six) and scored 44 points, tops on the team.  In those two seasons, Tryon scored 15 touchdowns to Grange’s nine.  He then decided that he had had enough of pro football and went into business.

Bryan Trottier


Bryan Trottier (Hockey.  Born, Val Marie, Sask., July 17, 1956.)  Thought by many to be the best all-around forward ever for the Islanders, Bryan John Trottier is the team’s career leader in points with 1,353 in 1,123 games.  Trottier was an excellent passer who still scored 500 career goals in his 15 seasons (1975-90) with the Islanders.  He was considered by most observers to have played a major role in Mike Bossy’s goal-scoring success.  Trottier, a tough center, was certainly a key to the Islanders’ four straight Stanley Cup triumphs.  He scored 64 goals with 106 assists in 175 playoff games for the Islanders.  Trottier had 16 career hat tricks, including two five-goal games.  His first five-goal night was an eight-point effort on Dec. 23, 1978, against the Rangers.  That night, he set an N.H.L. record that still stands with six points (four goals) in one period (the second).  His second five-goal game came Feb. 13, 1982, against Philadelphia during his career-best 50-goal season.  Trottier had five successive 100-point seasons (1977-78 through 1981-82), but his best season may have been 1983-84, when he posted 40 goals and 111 points though limited to 68 games by injury.  The N.H.L. Rookie of the Year in 1975-76, he led the N.H.L. in assists in 1977-78 (with 77) and 1978-79 (87) and won the Art Ross Trophy that season as the league’s high scorer (134 points).  He was the league M.V.P. that year as well.  He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1979-80 as the playoff M.V.P. and played in eight All-Star Games.  Released by the Islanders, he signed as a free agent with Pittsburgh and ultimately played parts of three seasons there, helping the Penguins win two Stanley Cups.  Trottier was an Islanders assistant coach (1992-93) and later an assistant at Pittsburgh and Colorado.  He was hired as Rangers head coach June 6, 2002, but served less than a season, dismissed Jan. 29, 2003 with a 21-26-6-1 record.

George Trevor


George Trevor (Sportswriter.  Born, Cooperstown, NY, July 31, 1892; died, Port Chester, NY, Nov. 17, 1951.)  Of all the college football writers of his era, George S. Trevor was easily the most renowned.  Trevor graduated Yale in 1915, taught military strategy at the Army War College (1917-18), wrote advertising copy, and joined the Brooklyn Eagle in 1922 as a sportswriter.  He moved to The Sun in 1926 and began selecting the paper’s all-America football team, the oldest and most respected in the country among newspapers.  Trevor also wrote annual football prospectuses for major magazines and was soon recognized as an authority.  Trevor was the last principal writer for a major paper to write his copy in longhand for transmission to his office (which was done in those days by telegraphers in the press box).  When The Sun was sold to the World-Telegram Jan. 4, 1950, Trevor worked briefly at the combined paper.  He is credited with creating the phrase “Mr. Outside” (Glenn Davis) and “Mr. Inside” (Doc Blanchard) for the famed World War II running backs at West Point.  The press box at Yale Bowl was dedicated to his memory and when then-coach Herman Hickman introduced him to the Yale squad at a pre-season practice in 1951, Hickman said that, excepting Walter Camp (q.v.), “He has done more for Yale football than anyone.”

Jim Trecker


Jim Trecker (Public relations.  Born, Los Angeles, CA, May 14, 1945.)  A leading soccer executive, James E. Trecker was also a public relations official with such disparate organizations as the Jets and Madison Square Garden.  Trecker served as assistant public relations director of the Jets (1969-75) under Frank Ramos (q.v.).  He was the vice president of corporate communications at the Garden (1981-86) before becoming the senior vice president, communications, for World Cup U.S.A. 1994 in 1991.  Trecker was also deputy secretary general of the U.S. Soccer Federation (1997-98) and founded International Soccer Consultants in 1987.  He has headed his own firm since 1995, representing such clients as Major League Soccer, F.I.F.A., A.C.O.G., and Japan 2002.  Earlier, he had served as assistant public relations director of the Skyliners, the United Soccer Association team that played in Yankee Stadium in 1967, was public relations director of the Cosmos (1976-77), the North American Soccer League (1978-79) and the N.A.S.L.’s Washington Diplomats (1980), where he was also a vice president.  His brother, Jerry, was a long-time soccer columnist for the Hartford (Conn.) Courant.

Bill Travers


Bill Travers (Sportswriter.  Born, Brooklyn, NY, June 27, 1931.)  William R. Travers was a general assignment reporter at the Daily Mirror (1956-63) before the paper closed Oct. 16, 1963.  Travers then became the scholastic sports editor for the Daily News for 30 years (1963-93).  He is a graduate of St. Francis College in Brooklyn.

Whitney Tower


Whitney Tower (Sportswriter.  Born, Roslyn, NY, June 30, 1923; died, Saratoga Springs, NY, Feb. 11, 1999.)  A Harvard graduate with a patrician manner, Whitney Tower was the racing editor at Sports Illustrated for 22 years (1954-76) and Classic magazine for five (1976-81).  Tower won several awards for magazine writing, including the Eclipse in both 1976 and 1977.  He later served as president of the National Museum of Racing in Saratoga, N.Y., and subsequently as its chairman.

Joe Torre


Joe Torre (Baseball.  Born Brooklyn, NY, July 18, 1940.) On November 2, 1995, Joseph Paul Torre became the 31st field manager of the Yankees and, within less than a year, he was only the eighth to manage the team to a World Series championship. The Yankees won four World Series and six A.L. pennants in his first eight years at the helm. Torre had an 18-year playing career with the Braves, Cardinals, and Mets, primarily as a catcher and third baseman before becoming the Mets’ playing manager on May 31, 1977. He was a lifetime .297 hitter in 2,209 big league games and was the N.L. M.V.P. in 1971 with St. Louis, when he led the league in batting (.363) and r.b.i. (137). After managing the Mets through 1981, Torre was Manager of the Year with the division-winning Braves in 1982. Following five years as a broadcaster for the then-California Angels, he returned to managing with St. Louis during the 1990 season. He was fired by the Cardinals on June 16, 1995. After managing the Yankees into the playoffs in 1997, Torre guided them through their magical 125-win season in 1998 and the first of three straight world championships.  The Yankees made the playoffs in each of Torre’s 12 seasons at the helm, finishing first 10 times, but his contract was not renewed, despite an 1173-767 (.605).  Torre then managed the Los Angeles Dodgers for three seasons (2008-10) before leaving the dugout for good.  In Feb. 2011, he was appointed Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball.

Dan Topping


Dan Topping (Baseball, pro football.  Born, Grennwich, CT, June 11, 1912; died, Miami, FL, May 18, 1974.)  Grandson of a former president of Republic Steel on his father’s side and a tin millionaire on his mother’s, Daniel Reid Topping was an above-average amateur golfer, owner of two pro football teams, and an owner of the Yankees for 22 years.  Topping played football, golf, baseball, and hockey at various times during his school years at The Hun and Penn.  It was in golf that he made his only serious athletic impression, reaching the quarterfinals of the British Amateur in 1935 and playing in the U.S. Amateur three times.  Topping started his business career at Bankers Trust in 1930, briefly ran an advertising agency, and, in 1934, bought the N.F.L. Brooklyn Football Dodgers.  He owned the club for 11 years (1934-44), hiring famed coach Dr. John B. Sutherland in 1940 (for the then-huge salary of $17,500) and beating the Football Giants on Pearl Harbor Day (Dec. 7, 1941) at the Polo Grounds.  His pro sports ownership was then mixed with a 42-month hitch in the Marines during World War II (26 months in the Pacific Theater).  In 1945, Topping announced that his Brooklyn team was leaving the N.F.L. to join the new, rival league then being formed.  Earlier that year, he had joined the triumvirate that bought the Yankees from the Ruppert estate (Jan. 25).  Topping, construction magnate Del Webb, and baseball executive Larry MacPhail paid $2.8 million for the team and Yankee Stadium.  The N.F.L. stripped his team of its players but Topping joined the All-America Football Conference anyway, placing the Football Yankees in the Stadium (1946-49).  The football team made the playoffs three times in four years and twice lost the league title game to the Cleveland Browns.  It was for the Football Yankees public-address position that Topping hired Bob Sheppard (1949), who later became famous as the baseball Yankees p.a. announcer for almost 60 years.  Topping’s baseball teams were much more effective, winning 14 American League pennants and nine World Series in his first 17 years as president after MacPhail was bought out following the 1947 Series.  He sold most of his interest to C.B.S. (for $11.2 million) in 1964 and the balance two years later when he resigned as president.  Earlier, Topping and Webb had sold Yankee Stadium (1953).  Lean, handsome, and always tanned, Topping led an active personal life.  He was married six times (including to actress Arline Judge in 1937, Olympic figure skating champion Sonja Henie in 1940 and actress Kay Sutton in 1947).  Five of the marriages ended in divorce, but he had nine children.  Topping summed up his feelings when he said, “Being in sports is the only way you can work and enjoy yourself while working.”  He also once observed, “Friends are the guys who are still around when you’re not winning.”  Topping also served on the boards of several companies, including Madison Square Garden.

John Tonelli


John Tonelli (Hockey.  Born, Hamilton, Ont., Mar. 23, 1957.)  When the Houston Aeros of the World Hockey Association folded, John A. Tonelli became the W.H.A.’s gift to the Islanders.  Tonelli went on to set a club record for scoring by a left wing (42 goals, 100 points) for the Isles in 1984-85.  Playing on the “Banana Line” (with center Wayne Merrick and right wing Bobby Nystrom (q.v.)), he was also a key part of the Islanders’ run of four Stanley Cup championships (1980-83).  In the 1982 playoffs, Tonelli saved the two-time defending champions team from first-round elimination, scoring the game-tying goal late in the third period of the deciding fifth game at home against Pittsburgh and then tallying the game-winner in overtime.  He was traded to Calgary on Mar. 11, 1986.  In his nearly eight seasons with the Islanders, Tonelli collected 206 goals and 338 assists for 544 points.  On Jan. 6, 1981, Tonelli became only the second Islander to have a five-goal game, beating Toronto’s Jiri Crha in a 6-3 victory, and on Feb. 20, 1982, he scored with 47 seconds left in the game to give the Islanders a 3-2 win over Colorado and a then N.H.L.-record 15-game winning streak (when games still ended after 60 minutes of play, and each time was awarded one point for a tie).  Of perhaps even greater importance to the Islanders, he set up Nystrom for the goal that won the 1980 Cup Final against Philadelphia in Game 6.  Tonelli played three seasons with Houston (1975-78) and twice made the W.H.A. All-Star team.  After leaving the Islanders, he played with Calgary, Los Angeles, and Quebec, retiring in 1992.

About This Dictionary

The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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