Frank Thomas (outfielder)
|Left fielder / Third baseman / First baseman|
June 11, 1929 |
|August 17, 1951, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1966, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||962|
|Career highlights and awards|
Frank Joseph Thomas (born June 11, 1929) is an American former professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a left fielder, first and third baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1951–58), Cincinnati Reds (1959), Chicago Cubs (1960–61, 1966), Milwaukee Braves (1961, 1965), New York Mets (1962–64), Philadelphia Phillies (1964–65), and the Houston Astros (1965). He batted and threw right-handed.
Thomas signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1947. He debuted with the Pirates in 1951. With the Pirates, he made three All-Star Games, and finished fourth in the voting for Most Valuable Player in 1958, when he batted .281, finished second in the National League to Ernie Banks with 35 home runs, and had 109 RBIs. Thomas appeared on the cover of the July 28, 1958 issue of Sports Illustrated. He also won his only NL Player of the Month award in June, batting .275, with 9 HR, and 29 RBI.
In 1959, he was traded by the Pirates with Whammy Douglas, Jim Pendleton and John Powers to the Cincinnati Redlegs for Smoky Burgess, Harvey Haddix and Don Hoak. Following the season, he was traded by the Redlegs to the Chicago Cubs for Bill Henry, Lou Jackson and Lee Walls. In 1961, he was traded by Cubs to the Milwaukee Braves for Mel Roach.
Thomas was traded by the Braves with a player to be named later (Rick Herrscher) to the New York Mets for a player to be named later (Gus Bell) and cash. Despite the team's historically poor inaugural season, Thomas led the expansion Mets with 34 HRs and 94 RBIs. His home run mark would last as a Mets' team record until 1975, when Dave Kingman hit 36.
In 1964, Thomas was traded by the New York Mets to the Philadelphia Phillies for Wayne Graham, Gary Kroll and cash. He was purchased by the Houston Astros from the Phillies in July 1965, but was traded to Braves for a player to be named later (Mickey Sinnerud) in September 1965.
On April 5, 1966, Thomas was released by the Braves. He signed with the Cubs on May 14, 1966, and after recording five plate appearances without a hit, he was released on June 4, 1966.
Thomas' entry in The Sporting News' Baseball Register during his playing career contained a reference to the fact that Thomas studied for the priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church from 1941 through 1946. His physical stature (6'3" and 205 lbs.) was larger than the average player at that time, and one of his nicknames as a player was "The Big Donkey."
Frank was married to his late wife Dolores for 60 years and they had 8 children: Joanne (Dick) Harrison, Patty Cain, Frank (Dianne) Thomas, Peter (Barb) Thomas, Maryanne (Jimmy) Pacconi, Paul (Linda) Thomas, and Father Mark Thomas. They also have 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
- FrankThomasTheOriginalOne.com – Official website of Frank Thomas "The Original One"
- Baseball Library – Profile and chronology
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
Willie Mays & Stan Musial
|Major League Player of the Month