Tom Herrin was born on September 29, 1929, in Shreveport, Louisiana and graduated in 1947 from Bossier High School in Bossier City, just across the Red River from Shreveport. He’d played a couple of years of high-school baseball and two years of semipro ball, plus the one year at college at Louisiana Tech.
Upon signing with the Boston Red Sox, he was assigned to the Oneonta (New York) Red Sox in the Class-C Canadian-American League. In 1950 he split his time between the Class-A Scranton Miners of the Eastern League, and the Class-C San Jose Red Sox, in the California League.
The following year 1951, he played with Scranton in the first part of the season. Called up to Louisville in June, he spent the rest of the season in the Triple-A American Association, where he had a few hard-luck losses due to a lack of run support. He spent the full 1952 season with the Louisville Colonels. In every year of his minor-league career through 1952, he walked more batters than he whiffed, but was not a bad hitter at all. By far his best year with a bat, was in 1951, when he hit a combined .389.
After spring training with the Red Sox in 1953, he was optioned to Louisville and spent the full season in the International League (AAA) with the Baltimore Orioles. For the most part he worked in relief, starting just three times.
Tom was one of 12 rookies who reported to Sarasota for 1954 spring training with the Red Sox, eight of them pitchers. One of the most experienced of the rookies in camp, his best hope to make the team lay in working in relief. With a number of the rookies in camp a week or two early for advanced training, he made the team. In April at Connie Mack Stadium, he enjoyed his major-league debut against the Philadelphia A’s. He had an 8.76 ERA at the end of May, however. He had not conquered his problems with control, walking 11 while only striking out six. His last two appearances were in June. The Red Sox optioned both him to Louisville. He had pitched his last game in the majors and finished with the one win and two losses and an ERA of 7.31. His 22 bases on balls considerably outnumbered his eight strikeouts.
The Red Sox cut ties with Tom, selling his contract outright to Louisville. He made all of two appearances for Louisville in 1955, and that was it. In April he announced his retirement, taking a full-time position with a Louisville firm, selling contractors’ equipment.
Tom Herrin passed away after a long illness at age 70, on November 29, 1999, in Homer Louisiana.