Thomas M. Umphlett

Published 10:07 am Monday, September 24, 2012

AHOSKIE – Mr. Thomas M. Umphlett, age 81, died at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, VA on Friday, September 21, 2012. He was born to Daisy Mullen Umphlett and Willie L. Umphlett on May 12, 1931.

Mr. Umphlett graduated from Ahoskie High School in 1950 where he excelled in basketball, baseball and football. Following high school he had scholarship offers from Duke, UNC, NC State and Wake Forest University to play football.  Also during this time he was being scouted by the Boston Red Sox and chose to sign with them in 1950. In 1953 he became the starting center fielder.  He was runner up for Rookie of the Year in the American League and named Boston’s Rookie of the Year in 1953.  Mr. Umphlett spent twenty one years as a player and a manager in professional baseball.  He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie and a longtime member of the Business Men’s Bible Class.

He is survived by his wife of fifty-seven years, Mary Ann Godwin Umphlett of the home; one son, Mike Umphlett and his wife, Charlena, and grandsons, Christian and Thomas, all of Charlotte.  Also surviving are sisters, Jean Overton of Ahoskie, Nancy Bannerman of Houston, TX, Dot Barton of Richmond, VA and Sarah Hawkins of Lumberton.

Memorial services will be conducted on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 at 11 a.m. at the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie with the Rev. Daniel Glaze officiating.

The family will receive friends on Monday evening at the home of Dr. Charles and Lois Sawyer, 112 Forest Drive, Ahoskie, from 6:00-7:30 p.m. and other times at the home of Thomas and Mary Ann Umphlett.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Ahoskie, 312 West Main Street, Ahoskie, NC  27910

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie is handling the arrangements and online condolences may be directed to the family at