Original Met Frank Thomas passes away at age 93.

There were two players named Frank Thomas in MLB history. One hit 521 HR and won back-to-back MVP awards.

The other one wasn’t too bad either. That other one just passed away at the age of 93. The “other” Frank Thomas played for the Pirates (1951-1958), Reds (1959), Cubs (1960-1961), Braves (1961), Mets (an original 1962 met, too) (1962-1964), Phillies (1964-1965), Astros (1965), Braves again (1965), and Cubs again (1966).

Thomas was a 3x All-Star who got MVP consideration 5x, including a 4th place finish in 1958 (.281-35-109).

A right-handed pull hitter, Thomas hit 34 HR and drove in 94 runs for the awful (40-120) 1962 original Mets, taking advantage of 279′ down the LF line at the Polo Grounds. An overhang of the upper deck made it only 256′ if you got the ball in the air. You had to pull the ball though, because LCF was 445′, and the CF clubhouse was listed at 475′! Thomas’ 34 HR stood as the Mets record until Dave Kingman broke it in 1975.

Thomas also hit 30 HR and drove in 102 runs in his first full season of 1953 with the Pirates, when he finished 18th in MVP voting.

Mostly a LF, Thomas also played CF, 1B, and 3B. He had the nicknames of the Big Donkey and The Original.

Thomas had a spat with teammate Dick Allen in 1965, which led to Thomas being traded (and fans sided with Thomas, Allen being booed in Philadelphia for years). Later, Allen asserted that the two became good friends.

In his heyday, from 1953-1963, Thomas averaged 140 games a year, .268-25-80, OPS+ 110. He hit .266 for his career with 286 HR. His 162-game average was .266-26-88, OPS+ 107.

He never played in the postseason, coming closest in 1964 when the Phillies picked him up for the stretch drive to play 1B (The regular 1B, John Herrnstein, only hit .234-6-25). Thomas (who, in 99 games for the Mets and Phils hit .271-10-45) got hurt in early September and later that month, the Phils went into their famous “Phold”, blowing a 6 1/2 game lead by losing 10 games in a row. By the time they won their last two games of the season, it was too late, and they finished in a tie for second, 1 game behind the eventual WS Champion Cardinals.




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