Tom “Hammer” Hamre began his eternal quest for a better life when he left the family farm in Norway and signed on as a hand on an old whaling ship. After being shipwrecked twice in the North Sea, Hammer decided to try the transatlantic merchant ships. Upon arriving in New York, he took advantage of the lax security at the docks and jumped ship. Desperate for a job, Hammer signed on to work on Mr. Roebling’s new bridge in Brooklyn.
Just before the new bridge opened on May 24, 1883 Hammer and some of the other iron men took a day off from the bridge work to attend the opening game of the New York Gothams at the original Polo Grounds. Hammer knew that he had found his life’s passion. Hammer soon moved to the Hungry Hill section of Springfield, Massachusetts where he continued his day job as an ironworker and indulged his love of base ball at the nearby Van Horn Park where he played for the local nine.
Over the years, Hammer has played every position on the field although he is now most often found camped out at first base. When Buck Fluff approached him about playing for the Whately Pioneers, Hammer warned him that the years of working on the iron (without a hard hat) had left him with several body parts that no longer functioned properly and, in the opinion of many, severely impaired thought processes. Buck Fluff said that wouldn’t be a problem since the team only wanted him from the neck down. Truth be told, (which it rarely is when Hammer is involved), at age 60 the former lead-off hitter is no longer considered much of a threat to run but can be counted on to give 100% whenever he is on the field.