Tag Archives: Thomas

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.

Baseball passings. Thomas and Burnside.

A couple of baseball passings.

Lee Thomas, 86. Got two at bats early in 1961 for the Yankees, but as a RF and 1B, he was blocked by Roger Maris and Moose Skowron. The Yankees traded him to the Angels, and he played for the Angels (1961-1964), Red Sox (1964-1965), Braves (1966), Cubs (1967) and Astros (1968).

Thomas hit .285-24-70 in 1961, finishing 3rd in ROY voting, and 24th for the MVP. The next year, he hit .290-26-104 and was on the All-Star Team both times (two All-Star games that year) and finished 11th in MVP voting.

He hit .255 with 106 HR. His 162-game average was .255-17-68, OPS+ 100. He went into the front office of the Cardinals, helping them to their pennants of 1982, 1985 and 1987, with a WS title in 1982.

Thomas later became GM for the Phillies, and was their GM when the Phils won the 1993 pennant.

Also passing away recently was P Pete Burnside at the age of 92. Burnside, a LHP, pitched for the Giants (1955, 1957-1958), Tigers (1959-1960), Senators (1961-1962), Orioles (1963) and back with the Senators in 1963.

Burnside was 19-36 in his MLB career, ERA 4.81, ERA+ 83. The player with the most HR hit off of Burnside was Roger Maris with 5, of which 3 were hit in Maris’ “61 in ’61” season.

The minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: SWB lost 3-2. Solo HR CF Ben Gamel (.385). Danny Burawa 2 scoreless IP of relief, 0. 69.

AA: 7-5 Trenton loss. 1B Greg Bird and DH Eric Jagielo with HRs. Pirela 0 for 3 in his return from that spring training concussion.

High A: Tampa won 8-7. Kyle Higashioka (C) a 9th inning grand slam in the top of the 9th. 1B Mike Ford and LF Ericson Leonora each had 2 hits, HR.

A: Charleston lost 5-1. 2 hits, both doubles, LF Brandon Thomas.

The Minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: SWB (7-7) PPD.

AA: Trenton (9-5) won 5-0. CF Jake Cave 3 h, rbi. RF Aaron Judge, 2 hits, double. 2 doubles, and an RBI for 1B Greg Bird. C Gary Sanchez 2 hits. Caleb Smith 5 scoreless IP with 5 K, Caleb Cotham 5 K in 2 scoreless innings of relief and Nick Goody 4 K in 2 scoreless innings of relief.

High A: Tampa (8-7) won 4-1. SS Tyler Wade 3 h, rbi. C Kyle Higashioka 2 h, 3 rbi. Eric Ruth 6 IP, 1 R, 3 H.

A: Charleston completed a game suspended earlier this week by winning 13-4. The team banged out 17 hits. RF Brandon Thomas a HR, 2 RBI.

In the regularly scheduled game, Charleston (10-5) won 4-2. 3B Abital Avelino and SS Jorge Mateo 2 hits each. 1B Connor Spencer 2 rbi.

The minors.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: SWB lost to LV 6-1. OF Ramon Flores left early with an injury after a HBP.  Rob Segedin (who came in to play 1B after Flores was hurt, 3 for 3). Brandon Pinder, just sent down for Chasen Shreve, pitched, giving up 2 R in 1 IP.

AA: 4-3 win for Trenton. 2 run HR 3B  Eric Jagielo. 4 players with 2 hits each.

High A: Tampa got shut out 3-0. SS Tyler Wade 2 hits but he made 2 errors.

A: 5-4 Charleston win. CF Dustin Fowler and C Eduardo de Oleo 2 hits each, same with RF Brandon Thomas.

Minor league report

Yankee Stadium Frieze

AAA: SWB gave up 5 in the top of the 9th to lose 11-6. OF Ramon Flores 2 solo HR. 1B Kyle Roller 3 hits. OF Ben Gamel 2 h, 2 RBI. SS Nick Noonan 2 hits. Not a good outing for Jaron Long, son of ex-Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long.

Long 5 2/3 IP, 6 R, 7 H, 1 walk and 4 K.
Shreve 2 1/3 IP 0 R, 4 H, 1 walk and 1 K.
Webb (L) 2/3 IP, 5 R (ALL UNEARNED) 3 H, 2 walks and 1 K.
Burawa 1/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

AA:  Trenton lost a squeaker, 2-1.  2 hits for 1B Greg Bird. Four pitchers combined for 11 K.

High A: 3-1 Tampa win in 11.  RF Mark Payton 3 hits, SS Tyler Wade 2 hits. 2 hits for LF Ericson Leonora. Rookie Davis 5 IP, (great name by the way), 1 R (UNEARNED) 3 h, 1 h, 7 K.

Low A: Charleston wins 8-0.   CF Dustin Fowler 2 hits. 1B Connor Spencer 2 h, 2 rbi. 3B Allen Vallerio, 2 hits, HR, 3 RBI. LF Brandon Thomas 2 h, rbi. Chaz Hebert 5 IP, 0 R, 2 h, 2 walks and 8 K

The minors.

Sorry for no minor league report yesterday, but I was busy and didn’t have the time to write one up.

AAA: SWB lost 6-5 to Lehigh Valley. Manny Banuelos went 4 innings, 3 R, 6 H, 1 walk and 4 K. CF Adonis Garcia 2 doubles, rbi. 3B Scott Sizemore solo HR. C John Ryan Murphy 2 hits, HR, 3 rbi.

AA: Trenton lost 3-0. Luis Severino (L) 4 2/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 4 K. C Francisco Arcia and 2B Dan Fiorito each had two hits. Severino, 20, is 6-5, 2.46 in 24 starts this year (combined leagues).

High A: 8-4 loss for Tampa. DH Mike Ford and 2B Jose Rosario 2 RBI each. Tampa has been eliminated from a playoff spot, so no teams A through AAA will be in the postseason.

Low A: Charleston won 6-1. Rookie Davis 6 IP, 1 R, 4 h, 2 walks, 9 K (7-8, 4.93). DH Mike O’Neill (Paul’s nephew) 3 hits, rbi. C Eduardo De Oleo 3 hits, rbi. 2 hits and an rbi for both 1B Jackson Valera and LF Brandon Thomas.

The minors.

AAA: SWB lost 11-2. Bryan Mitchell gave up 8 r in 4 2/3. DH Corban Joseph hit a solo HR.

AA: Trenton lost 8-2. 3B Dan Fiorito 3 hits, rbi. 3 others with 2 hits each.

High A: Tampa won 11-1. CF Mark Payton 4 for 4, HR, 2 RBI. DH Rey Nunez, HR, 2 rbi. RF Aaron Judge 3 hits, 2 doubles, HR, 3 RBI. 3B Eric Jagielo 3 h, rbi. Three others with two hits each.

Low A: Charleston lost 7-2. 2 RBI for CF Brandon Thomas.

The minors.

AAA: SWB scored 5 times in the top of the 9th to win 6-5. 2B Rob Refsnyder 3 hits, 3B Zelous Wheeler 2 rbi. RF Taylor Dugas and DH Corban Joseph 2 hits, rbi each.

AA: Trenton lost 4-3 in 12. 2 Hits, RBI LF Ben Gamel.

High A: Tampa hung on to win 8-7. SS Cito Culver 2 h, 2 rbi. 3B Eric Jagielo 4 for 4, rbi. C Trent Garrison 3 h, rbi and 1B Rey Nunez 2 doubles, rbi.

Low A: Charleston won 5-4. CF Brandon Thomas 2 h, HR, 2 RBI

The minors.

AAA: SWB (59-66) lost 8-5.

AA: Trenton (60-65) won 4-3. 1B Greg Bird a 2-run HR. DH Jake Cave 2 doubles.

High A: Tampa (61-62) split a DH.

Reg. sched. game: Lost 1-0. RF Ericson Leonora and 1B Danny Oh 2 hits each. Four of Tampa’s five hits.

Resched. game: Makeup of 7/2 ppd. game. Won 4-3. C Kyle Higashioka 2 for 2, double, solo HR. SS Cito Culver 2 RBI.

Low A: Charleston (61-63) lost 3-2. OF Brandon Thomas 2 hits, triple, rbi.