Rupert “Tommy” Thompson was born on May 19, 1910 in Elkhart, Indiana. He had an interesting career, one of the few who could claim to be a teammate of both Babe Ruth (with the Boston Braves in 1935) and Ted Williams (with San Diego in 1937.) He hit nine home runs in his short major league career, with five of them coming in the ninth inning.
An outfielder, Thompson (who died in 1971) had a long minor league career, spanning from 1928 to 1953, and also managed several years. He played in the PCL with San Diego, Hollywood and Portland. It was with the Beavers that he had his most unusual moment.
During a game in 1942, Thompson was trotting in from centerfield in Vaughn Street Park when a sinkhole suddenly opened beneath his feet. Thompson narrowly missed falling into it. Not one to miss an opportunity, Oakland’s Emil Mailho ran out and jumped into the hole, which concealed him from view, save for the top of his cap.