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Tim Tolman, Leading Hitter on USC's 1978 College World Series Champs Who Played and Coached in Majors, Dies

Jun 4, 2021

LOS ANGELES--Tim Tolman, the leading hitter on USC's 1978 College World Series champion baseball team who then played and coached in the major leagues, died on Thursday (June 3) in Tucson, Ariz., following a 10-year battle with Parkinson's disease.  He was 65. 
 
A 3-year (1976-78) letterman outfielder at USC, he was the All-Pac-8 Southern Division Player of the Year as a junior in 1978 when he led the Trojans in hitting with a .404 average (still tied for the fifth highest season average in USC history).  That season, he also was named All-American second team, All-District first team and All-Pac-8 first team.  In USC's 10-3 victory over Arizona State in the 1978 College World Series championship game, Tolman had 3 hits and an RBI and was named to the All-CWS Team. 
 
He hit .298 as a Trojan freshman in 1976 and .293 in 1977.  USC won the Pac-8 titles his sophomore and junior seasons. 
 
Tolman was a 12th round pick by the Houston Astros in the 1978 MLB Draft.  After hitting .322 with 14 home runs and 99 RBI in 1981 for the Triple A Tucson Toros, he appeared in 132 games in the majors as an outfielder and first baseman during portions of 7 seasons with the Astros (1981-85) and Detroit Tigers (1986-87).  He spent 1988 and 1989 with the Triple A teams of the New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays, respectively. 
 
Tolman then managed in the Astros' minor league system from 1991 to 1996, was an Astros scout from 1997 to 1999 and was a scouting supervisor for the Astros from 2000 to 2002. 
 
From 2003 to 2006, he was the minor league field coordinator for the Cleveland Indians. 
 
Tolman spent the 2007 and 2008 seasons as the third base coach for the Washington Nationals. 
 
In 2009, he was the Seattle Mariners' coordinator of instruction. 
 
He spent 2 seasons (2010-11) as the Indians' bench coach, then retired from coaching after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.  In his final game, Tolman served as acting manager after manager Manny Acta was ejected in the first inning. 
 
He then worked in a scouting and talent evaluation capacity for the Indians until 2020. 
 
He is survived by his wife, Christy, and his sons, Andrew and Casey. 
 
Services are pending.