RedHawks interim manager Tom Lawless recalls Pete Rose trade, World Series home run

Tom Lawless, the RedHawks interim manager, played in eight major league seasons. He was the only player to be traded for Pete Rose, broke up a no-hit bid in 1989 and hit a game-winning home run in the 1987 World Series.
by Michael Baldwin Published: August 31, 2012
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Tom Lawless, who was serving as Houston's roving minor league instructor, was named the RedHawks interim manager after Tony DeFrancesco was named the Astros interim manager.

Lawless, 55, was a utility player who accumulated 531 at-bats during eight major league seasons, but he was involved in some historic and dramatic moments.

Lawless was the only player to be traded for Pete Rose; broke up Mark Langston's no-hit bid in 1989 and hit a game-winning home run in the 1987 World Series. He also worked with the Chinese national team.

What type of reaction do you get when people discover you're the only player traded for Pete Rose?

It's nice to have in your back pocket. It's always good when you're in a bar and need a drink and use it as a trivia question.

Was kind of thrill was it to hit two career regular-season home runs, but you hit a game-winner in the 1987 World Series.

You dream of playing in a World Series since you're a little kid. I was only playing because Terry (Pendleton) pulled a muscle and was hurt and couldn't hit against right-handers. To be able to play in three World Series games, some people never get to play in one their entire career. And then to hit a home run that wins the game, that's the ultimate.

Where does breaking up Mark Langston's perfect game in 1989 rank among your career highlights?

It's something you'll never forget. He was dealing that day. The funny thing is I pinch hit for Lloyd Moseby, who rarely got pinch hit for. It was a line drive to left-center on a 2-0 pitch. We ended up winning the game.

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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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