Thomas James Acker (born March 7, 1930 in Paterson, New Jersey) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. The right-hander was signed by the New York Giants before the 1948 season, and eventually ended up in the Cincinnati Redlegs organization before the 1954 season. He played for the Redlegs from 1956 to 1959.
The majority of his 153 appearances were as a relief pitcher, but he did start 23 games. During his career, he had 256 strikeouts in just 380.3 total innings. His K/9IP was 6.06, which was higher than the National League average at that time. In 1957 he finished in the National League top ten for games pitched, winning percentage, and hit batsmen.
Acker was an excellent fielder, handling 68 out of 69 total chances successfully for a fielding percentage of .986 during his four seasons.
Career highlights include:
A 6-0 complete game shutout vs. Harvey Haddix and the Philadelphia Phillies (September 19, 1956) Three innings of shutout relief, with 6 strikeouts, to earn the victory in a win over the Chicago Cubs (May 11, 1957) Winning pitcher in both games of a double-header against the Pittsburgh Pirates, pitching a total of 2.1 innings of relief with 4 strikeouts and just one run (unearned) allowed (May 19, 1957) A seven-hit, seven strikeout complete game against the Philadelphia Phillies, winning 8-3 (June 29, 1957) A seven-hit complete game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning 4-3 (August 17, 1958) Three innings of shutout relief to earn a save against the Pittsburgh Pirates (May 29, 1959) Held All-Stars Ken Boyer, Granny Hamner, Frank Howard, Willie "Puddin' Head" Jones, and Bobby Thomson to a .147 collective batting average (10-for-68) Held Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Roy Campanella, Eddie Mathews, Bill Mazeroski, and Pee Wee Reese to a collective .190 batting average (11-for-58) He finished his career with a total of 19 wins, 13 losses, 5 complete games, 1 shutout, 8 saves, 35 games finished, and an ERA of 4.12.
There is some disagreement on what was Tom Acker's most productive season. Some believe that it was 1957, when he posted a 4.97 ERA, won 10 games and struck out 67 batters. However, others believe that it was 1956, when he posted a 2.37 ERA and struck out 54 batters.
- Signed as an amateur free agent by New York Giants (1948).
- Selected by Buffalo (International) from New York Giants in the minor league draft (December 4, 1950).
- Traded by Buffalo (International) with Moe Savransky to Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Jim Bolger (October 14, 1951).
- Traded by Cincinnati Reds to Kansas City Athletics in exchange for Frank House (November 21, 1959).