Saturday, June 13, 2009

1976 Topps #111 - Danny Thompson

  • Danny Thompson was an infielder for the Minnesota Twins (1970-1976) and the Texas Rangers (1976). He played in the minors from 1968-1970 and was brought up to Minnesota in June 1970. Danny batted .219 in 302 at bats in his rookie season. He didn't play much in 1971 (.263 in 57 AB).
  • Thompson had a good year in 1972. He batted .276 in 144 games at shortstop and received a few votes for MVP.
  • Thompson found out that he had leukemia in the spring of 1973. He continued to play despite the illness. Danny took a series of experimental injections in an attempt to partially immunize himself against the disease.
  • He batted .225 in 347 AB in 1973. Danny improved to .25o in 264 AB in 1974. Thompson had his last good year in 1975, batting .270 in 355 at bats.
  • Danny played 34 games for the Twins in 1976 and was batting .234 when he was traded with Bert Blyleven (and others) to the Texas Rangers. He finished the year batting .214 for the Rangers.
  • Danny Thompson died on December 10, 1976 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. He left behind a wife and two daughters. A memorial golf tournament (launched by Harmon Killebrew in 1977) is held in Idaho every year to raise money for leukemia research. The tournament has raised over $10 million so far.


  1. I think Danny was the first ballplayer I was aware of that had died from a disease. I'd known about Clemente in the plane crash and others in car wrecks (Mike Miley, Dan Frisella,, but Thompson having leukemia kind of stayed with me.

  2. Yeah--I didn't know what leukemia was until Danny Thompson died.

  3. Unrelated, but this photo was taken at Tiger Stadium and much of what you see in the background is being torn down as we speak.