Gorman Thomas

James Gorman Thomas III (born December 12, 1950) is an American former professional baseball player. He played Major League Baseball (MLB) as a center fielder and right-handed hitter. Thomas played in the American League (AL) with the Milwaukee Brewers (1973–76, 1978–83, 1986), Cleveland Indians (1983) and Seattle Mariners (1984–86).[1]

With the Brewers, Thomas was one of the franchise's most popular players. He was a leading home run hitter in the late 1970s and early 1980s, though he hit for a low batting average and frequently struck out. Thomas had good fielding skills and his throwing arm was strong until shoulder surgery in 1984, after which he became a designated hitter until his retirement in 1986.

Gorman Thomas
Gorman Thomas 2011
Thomas after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1 of the 2011 NLCS
Center fielder
Born: December 12, 1950 (age 68)
Charleston, South Carolina
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 6, 1973, for the Milwaukee Brewers
Last MLB appearance
October 5, 1986, for the Milwaukee Brewers
MLB statistics
Batting average.225
Home runs268
Runs batted in782
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life

Thomas was born in Charleston, South Carolina. His father, Gorman Sr, was a postal worker and a former minor league pitcher.[2] Thomas was raised in nearby James Island. His family moved to Columbia, SC where he attended Cardinal Newman High School through his Junior year, playing on a State Championship Basketball team in 1968. He attended James Island High School his Senior year.[3] In high school, Thomas earned 14 letters in four sports - baseball, football, basketball and track. He was the first draft pick of the Seattle Pilots in 1969.[4]

Career

Milwaukee Brewers

In 1971, Thomas played Class A baseball in the Milwaukee system. With the Danville Warriors that year, Thomas led the Midwest League in both home runs and strikeouts.[5] The next year with the Class AA San Antonio Brewers, Thomas led the Texas League in the same two categories, registering 26 home runs versus 171 strikeouts.[6]

Thomas spent parts of 1973 and 1974 in the major leagues with the Brewers, but he mostly played Class AAA baseball during those seasons. With the Sacramento Solons of the Pacific Coast League in 1974, Thomas finished second in the league in home runs (51), third in RBI (122), fourth in walks (93), third in runs scored (117) and first in strikeouts (175).[7] He spent most of the next two years on the bench with the Brewers, but he enjoyed being teammates with Hank Aaron during Aaron's last two MLB seasons.[2]

Thomas played in Class AAA for the entire 1977 season. After the season, Thomas was traded to the Texas Rangers as the player to be named later in an earlier trade for Ed Kirkpatrick. Rangers executive Dan O'Brien Sr. explained the move as a temporary "friendship deal". Brewers general manager Harry Dalton needed to open up a roster spot over the winter, and he asked O'Brien to hold Thomas on the Texas roster for a few months. In February 1978, O'Brien sold Thomas back to Milwaukee before he appeared in any games with the Rangers.[8]

Becoming an everyday center fielder for the Brewers in 1978, Thomas hit 32 home runs to go along with 86 RBI. In 1979, Thomas enjoyed his best MLB season, compiling career high numbers in home runs (45, first in the AL), RBI (123), runs scored (97), hits (136), doubles (29), walks (98), on-base percentage (.356), total bases (300), slugging percentage (.539) and OPS (.895). He finished seventh in MVP Award voting. Thomas was affectionately known as "Stormin' Gorman."[9]

In 1980, Thomas had another productive season, hitting 38 home runs to go along with 105 RBI, while playing in every game. Gorman followed that up in 1981 by finishing second in the AL in home runs with 21 and being named to the AL All-Star Team. He finished eighth in MVP Award voting that year. In 1982, Thomas hit an AL-high 39 home runs (tying with Reggie Jackson for the league lead) and drove in 112 runs to help the Brewers win the American League Championship and face the Cardinals in the World Series. The Brewers lost to the Cardinals in seven games, with Thomas striking out against Bruce Sutter to end the Series.

While with the Brewers, Thomas opened a bar in Milwaukee with pitcher Pete Vuckovich. It was called "Stormin' & Vuke's", a play on their nicknames.[10][11]

Trade to the Indians

In June 1983, Thomas, Jamie Easterly, and Ernie Camacho were traded to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Rick Manning and Rick Waits.[12] Thomas's play had declined late in the 1982 season; he hit .181 after September 1, and he had only four hits in more than 40 at bats in the 1982 postseason. After the announcement of the trade, angry Brewers fans flooded the team's switchboard with phone calls criticizing the transaction. [13]

After the 1983 season, Thomas expressed his desire for another trade, saying that he did not feel comfortable playing in Cleveland.[14] Thomas had hit more home runs during the period from 1978 to 1983 than any other player in the AL (197).

Later career

Traded to the Seattle Mariners for the 1984 season, Thomas played in only 53 games for the team that year before he underwent season-ending rotator cuff surgery in June. In spring training before the 1985 season, Thomas had some difficulty with the timing of his swing, but he was able to swing without pain and he was looking forward to assuming Seattle's designated hitter role.[15] Thomas was selected as The Sporting News AL Comeback Player of the Year in 1985, hitting 32 home runs and 87 RBI.[16] However, Thomas - normally a practical joker - began to feel alienated from his teammates. At a team tenth anniversary party, Thomas was left out of a 1985 Mariners highlight video. Mariners executives said they tried to trade him away but that there was minimal interest in Thomas because of his age and his limitation to the designated hitter role.[17]

After Dick Williams took over as the manager in Seattle toward the beginning of the 1986 season, Thomas saw decreased playing time. By late June, he was hitting .192 with 10 home runs and 26 RBI, and the team decided to release him. Thomas was making $650,000 that season and Mariners owner George Argyros had to absorb the loss of $361,000 that was still owed to Thomas under that contract.[18] Thomas contemplated retirement, and he turned down a contract offer from the Detroit Tigers, but he signed with the Brewers a couple of weeks later to fill a designated hitter and pinch hitter role.[19][20]

Thomas retired after the 1986 season.[21] He was a career .225 hitter with 268 home runs and 782 RBI in 1435 games.

Later life

In retirement, Thomas played amateur golf and he spent time hunting and carving duck decoys. In the early 1990s, he collected limited-edition prints and considered opening an art gallery.[21] Thomas works under a personal services contract with the Brewers to make appearances in the community and welcome visitors to Gorman's Grill at Miller Park. He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2003.

See also

References

  1. ^ La Russa, Tony; Dennis Purdy (2006). The Team-By-Team Encyclopedia of Major League Baseball. Workman Publishing. pp. 606–. ISBN 9780981792910. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  2. ^ a b Holtzman, Jerome (July 4, 1985). "Thomas is still indomitable". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "Stormin' Thomas reconnects with Lowcountry roots, Citadel baseball". WCIV. February 18, 2013. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "Gorman Thomas". Wisconsin Center. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  5. ^ "1971 Midwest League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  6. ^ "1972 Texas League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  7. ^ "1974 Pacific Coast League Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  8. ^ Newberg, Jamey (August 16, 2007). "Swapping Stories: The Gorman Thomas trades of 1977 and 1978". MLB.com. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  9. ^ "Gorman Thomas". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  10. ^ Nashawaty, Chris. "A LEAGUE OF ITS OWN". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  11. ^ Prigge, Matthew J. "So-Long Gorman: This Week Marks 33 Years Since the Most Hated Trade in Brewers History". Shepherd Express. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  12. ^ Gorman Thomas deal upsets Brewers fans
  13. ^ Gorman Thomas dealt to Tribe
  14. ^ "Indians' Thomas says he wants to be traded". Lawrence Journal-World. Associated Press. October 27, 1983. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  15. ^ Cour, Jim (April 8, 1985). "Gorman is stormin' back for Mariners". The Spokesman-Review. Associated Press. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  16. ^ "Thomas, Reuschel honored as year's comeback players". The Courier. November 20, 1985. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  17. ^ Wojciechowski, Gene (April 14, 1986). "Stormin' Gorman: Playing in Seattle has its moments, but Milwaukee is his kind of town, Thomas believes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  18. ^ "Mariners' Thomas swept from roster". Boca Raton News. Associated Press. June 26, 1986. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  19. ^ "Thomas may retire". Lewiston Daily Sun. Associated Press. July 3, 1986. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  20. ^ "Briefs". Spokane Chronicle. July 16, 1986. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  21. ^ a b Derrick, Mel (August 3, 1991). "Trivia answer Gorman Thomas cooks up life after retirement". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved August 18, 2016.

External links

1969 Major League Baseball draft

The 1969 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft took place prior to the 1969 MLB season. The draft featured future Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven (pick 55) and Dave Winfield (pick 882).

1978 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1978 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers finishing third in the American League East with a record of 93 wins and 69 losses.

1978 Texas Rangers season

The 1978 Texas Rangers season involved the Rangers finishing 2nd in the American League West with a record of 87 wins and 75 losses.

1979 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1979 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers' finishing second in the American League East with a record of 95 wins and 66 losses.

1981 American League Division Series

The 1981 American League Division Series (ALDS), the opening round of the 1981 American League playoffs, began on Tuesday, October 6, and ended on Sunday, October 11. The Division Series were created on August 6 in response to the 1981 Major League Baseball strike, which caused the cancellation of roughly one-third of the regular season between June 12 and August 9; by the time play was resumed, it was decided that the best approach was to have the first-half leaders automatically qualify for postseason play, and allow all the teams to begin the second half with a clean slate.

The first half and second-half champions in both the East and West divisions would meet in best-of-five series, with the winners advancing to the AL Championship Series (ALCS). If the same team won both halves, a wild card team—the second-place team, based on overall record, in the division—would qualify for the postseason, but this proved unnecessary in both leagues. There were no plans to continue the format in later seasons, although the Division Series resumed in 1995 after both major leagues realigned into three divisions. The teams in the 1981 ALDS were:

Eastern Division: New York Yankees (first-half champion, 34–22) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (second-half champion, 31–22): Yankees win series, 3–2.

Western Division: Oakland Athletics (first-half champion, 37–23) vs. Kansas City Royals (second-half champion, 30–23): Athletics win series, 3–0.The second-half champions played the first two games at home, with the first-half champions potentially hosting the last three; the first-half champions all posted better records in their half of the season than the second-half champions did.

The Royals became the first (and as of 2018, only) team to reach the MLB postseason with a .500 or worse record. Kansas City recovered to win the second half in the AL West following a 20-30 first half, giving them a 50-53 overall mark.

The Yankees and Athletics went on to meet in the AL Championship Series. The Yankees became the American League champion, and lost to the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1981 World Series.

1982 American League Championship Series

The 1982 American League Championship Series was played between the Milwaukee Brewers and the California Angels from October 5 to 10, 1982. Milwaukee won the series three games to two to advance to the franchise's first World Series, where they would lose to the St. Louis Cardinals, four games to three. The 1982 ALCS was marked by a dramatic comeback by the Brewers, who lost the first two games of the series and were trailing late in the final game. This is also the first of only two Championship Series between Milwaukee and a Los Angeles team, the other being 2018.

The series was noteworthy as being the first to feature a matchup between two "expansion" teams (i.e., franchises not included among the sixteen operating in the major leagues for most of the first half of the twentieth century), for featuring two teams that had never before won a pennant, and for being the first time a team came from a 2-0 deficit to win the series.

This was the first ALCS not to feature the Athletics, Orioles, or Yankees.

1982 Major League Baseball season

The 1982 Major League Baseball season. Making up for their playoff miss of the year before, the St. Louis Cardinals won their ninth World Series championship, defeating the Milwaukee Brewers, four games to three.

1982 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1982 Milwaukee Brewers season resulted in the team winning its first and only American League Championship.

As a team, the Brewers led Major League Baseball in a number of offensive categories, including at bats (5733), runs scored (891), home runs (216), runs batted in (843), slugging percentage (.455), on-base plus slugging (.789), total bases (2606) and extra-base hits (534).

1982 World Series

The 1982 World Series featured the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, with the Cardinals winning in seven games.

The Cardinals had last been in the World Series in 1968, and a Milwaukee team, the Braves, in 1958. The Milwaukee team of 1982 started as an expansion team in Seattle in 1969, which then moved to Milwaukee in 1970 and changed their name to the Brewers.The Cardinals made it to the Series by winning the National League East division by three games over the Philadelphia Phillies, and then defeating the Atlanta Braves by 3 games to none in the National League Championship Series. The Brewers made it by winning the American League East division by one game over the Baltimore Orioles, and then defeating the California Angels by 3 games to 2 in the American League Championship Series.

With the Cardinals winning this series, the National League achieved four straight World Series championships from 1979 to 1982. The National League would not again achieve even back-to-back victories until the Giants won in 2010 and the Cardinals in 2011.

Though the teams had never met before, their home cities had an existing commercial rivalry in the beer market, as St. Louis is the home of Anheuser–Busch, which owned the Cardinals at the time, while Milwaukee is the home of Miller Brewing and other past major competitors of Anheuser–Busch. This led the media to refer to it as the "Suds Series."

1983 Milwaukee Brewers season

The 1983 Milwaukee Brewers season involved the Brewers finishing 5th in the American League East with a record of 87 wins and 75 losses.

1985 Seattle Mariners season

The Seattle Mariners 1985 season was their ninth since the franchise creation, and ended the season finishing 6th in the American League West with a record of 74–88 (.457).

1986 Milwaukee Brewers season

The Milwaukee Brewers' 1986 season involved the Brewers' finishing 6th in the American League East with a record of 77 wins and 84 losses.

List of Major League Baseball annual home run leaders

In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit so far that the batter is able to circle all the bases ending at home plate, scoring himself plus any runners already on base, with no errors by the defensive team on the play. An automatic home run is achieved by hitting the ball on the fly over the outfield fence in fair territory. More rarely, an inside-the-park home run occurs when the hitter reaches home plate while the baseball remains in play on the field. In Major League Baseball (MLB), a player in each league wins the home run title each season by hitting the most home runs that year. Only home runs hit in a particular league count towards that league's seasonal lead. Mark McGwire, for example, hit 58 home runs in 1997, more than any other player that year. However, McGwire was traded from the American League's (AL) Oakland Athletics to the National League's (NL) St. Louis Cardinals midway through the season and his individual AL and NL home run totals (34 and 24, respectively) did not qualify to lead either league.The first home run champion in the National League was George Hall. In the league's inaugural 1876 season, Hall hit five home runs for the short-lived National League Philadelphia Athletics. In 1901, the American League was established and Hall of Fame second baseman Nap Lajoie led it with 14 home runs for the American League Philadelphia Athletics. Over the course of his 22-season career, Babe Ruth led the American League in home runs 12 times. Mike Schmidt and Ralph Kiner have the second and third most home run titles respectively, Schmidt with eight and Kiner with seven, all won in the National League. Kiner's seven consecutive titles from 1946 to 1952 are also the most consecutive home run titles by any player.

Ruth set the Major League Baseball single-season home run record four times, first at 29 (1919), then 54 (1920), 59 (1921), and finally 60 (1927). Ruth's 1920 and 1921 seasons are tied for the widest margin of victory for a home run champion as he topped the next highest total by 35 home runs in each season. The single season mark of 60 stood for 34 years until Roger Maris hit 61 home runs in 1961. Maris' mark was broken 37 years later by both Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa during the 1998 home run record chase, with McGwire ultimately setting the mark at 70. Barry Bonds, who also has the most career home runs, set the current single season record of 73 in 2001. The 1998 and 2001 seasons each had 4 players hit 50 or more home runs – Greg Vaughn, Ken Griffey, Jr., Sosa, and McGwire in 1998 and Alex Rodriguez, Luis Gonzalez, Sosa, and Bonds in 2001. A player has hit 50 or more home runs 42 times, 25 times since 1990. The lowest home run total to lead a major league was four, recorded in the NL by Lip Pike in 1877 and Paul Hines in 1878.

Marshall Edwards

Marshall Lynn Edwards (born August 27, 1952), is a former professional baseball outfielder. He played in three seasons in the major leagues from 1981 until 1983, all for the Milwaukee Brewers. In the fifth and final game of the 1982 ALCS, Edwards subbed for a limping Gorman Thomas in center field in the 8th inning, and made a spectacular catch at the warning track of a deep fly ball off the bat of Don Baylor, helping preserve Milwaukee's narrow margin victory over the California Angels.

Edwards has two brothers who also played in the major leagues, Dave Edwards and Mike Edwards, who is Marshall's twin.

Edwards is retired from baseball and works as a minister at the World Changes International Church.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Milwaukee Brewers are an American professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Brewers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. The team is named for the city's association with the brewing industry. Since 2001, the Brewers have played their home games at Miller Park, which has a seating capacity of 41,900.

The team was founded in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots, an expansion team of the American League (AL), in Seattle, Washington. The Pilots played their home games at Sick's Stadium. After only one season, the team relocated to Milwaukee, becoming known as the Brewers and playing their home games at Milwaukee County Stadium. In 1998, the Brewers joined the National League. They are the only franchise to play in four divisions since the advent of divisional play in Major League Baseball in 1969. They are also one of two current MLB franchises to switch leagues in their history, the other one being the Houston Astros.

The team's only World Series appearance came in 1982. After winning the ALCS against the California Angels, the Brewers faced off against the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, losing 4–3. In 2011, the Brewers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks to win the NLDS 3–2, but lost in the NLCS to the eventual World Series champion Cardinals 4–2.

Outfielder

An outfielder is a person playing in one of the three defensive positions in baseball or softball, farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder. As an outfielder, their duty is to catch fly balls and/ ground balls then to return them to the infield for the out or before the runner advances, if there is any runners on the bases. As an outfielder, they normally play behind the six players located in the field.

By convention, each of the nine defensive positions in baseball is numbered. The outfield positions are 7 (left field), 8 (center field) and 9 (right field). These numbers are shorthand designations useful in baseball scorekeeping and are not necessarily the same as the squad numbers worn on player uniforms.

Outfielders named to the MLB All-Century Team are Hank Aaron, Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Pete Rose, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Ken Griffey Jr.

Rick Manning

Richard Eugene Manning (born September 2, 1954) is a former center fielder and current broadcaster in Major League Baseball (MLB), who played for the Cleveland Indians (1975-1983) and Milwaukee Brewers (1983–1987), and has been a color commentator for Cleveland Indians telecasts since 1990.

Thomas Gorman

Thomas Gorman or Tom Gorman may refer to:

Tommy Gorman (1886–1961), Canadian lacrosse player and founder of the National Hockey League (NHL)

Thomas Kiely Gorman (1892–1980), Roman Catholic bishop of Dallas

Tom Gorman (American football) (1910–1975), American football player and coach

Tom Gorman (rugby league) (1901–1978), Australian rugby league player

Tom Gorman (tennis) (born 1946), American tennis player

Tom Gorman, guitarist with the alternative rock group Belly

Tommie Gorman, Irish journalist

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