Born: November 19, 1945|
Los Angeles, California
|September 3, 1965 for the St. Louis Cardinals|
Last MLB appearance
|September 19, 1979 for the San Diego Padres|
|Runs batted in||497|
Career highlights and awards
Robert Tolan (born November 19, 1945) is a former center and right fielder in Major League Baseball. Tolan, who batted and threw left-handed, played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1965–68), Cincinnati Reds (1969–73), San Diego Padres (1974–75, 1979), Philadelphia Phillies (1976–77) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1977). He also played one season in Japan for the Nankai Hawks (1978).
Tolan was a reserve outfielder during his years with the Cardinals, with whom he won a World Series title in
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. He also played on the
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year National League champions; however, the Redbirds lost to the Detroit Tigers in the World Series in seven games, after leading three games to one. The day after the final game of this Series Tolan was traded to the Cincinnati Reds along with reliever Wayne Granger for veteran outfielder Vada Pinson.
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year hit .305 and established career highs in home runs and runs batted in (21 and 93 respectively). In this, the first year both leagues were split into two divisions, the Reds finished third in the National League West, four games behind the division-winning Atlanta Braves. The "Big Red Machine", which also featured future Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Tony Pérez (and would later feature a third, Joe Morgan), was just beginning to take shape.
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year) for a Reds team that won the National League West title for their first postseason berth since the 1961 World Series. The Reds swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the NLCS in three games; in the second game, Tolan scored all three runs in a 3-1 victory, including hitting a fifth-inning home run off starter Luke Walker. However, the Baltimore Orioles defeated the Reds in the World Series in five games. Tolan went 4-for-19 in the Series, including a home run off Mike Cuellar in Game Two.
Tolan missed the
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year was a disastrous year for Tolan, one in which his batting average plummeted to .206. He became a malcontent and had several squabbles with Reds management, who were still unhappy with his 1971 basketball injury. Tolan also went AWOL for two days in August and broke team rules by growing a beard. On September 27, the team suspended Tolan for the remainder of the season. The Reds won yet another division title but the suspension forced Tolan to miss the NLCS, which the Reds lost to the New York Mets. At the end of the season the Reds traded Tolan to the Padres for pitcher Clay Kirby. After the trade the Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance on Tolan's behalf. During the
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Tolan was released by the Padres after batting .255 in
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Tolan played professionally in Japan in
- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. He was also a coach for the Padres from
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- REDIRECT Template:Baseball year. During the strike of 1981, Tolan was dispatched to Walla Walla, Washington, where he was Tony Gwynn's first hitting coach.  Tolan also was player-manager of the St. Petersburg Pelicans, a team in the Senior Professional Baseball Association, in the two years of the league's operation,
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In his major league career, Tolan batted .265 with 86 home runs and 497 runs batted in, in 1,282 games played.
Tolan is married to Marian Trahan and they have a son Robert (Robbie) Tolan who plays professional baseball in the Washington Nationals organization. On December 31, 2008, Robbie was shot by a Bellaire, Texas policeman allegedly investigating reports of a stolen car after a confrontation in the Tolan driveway. The younger Tolan was unarmed and driving his own vehicle. The bullet lodged in Tolan's liver; the injury may have ended his professional baseball career. An investigation into the shooting is on-going.
- List of Major League Baseball stolen base champions
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference