Milt Thompson (baseball)
Thompson during batting practice with the Phillies
|Born: January 5, 1959|
|September 4, 1984, for the Atlanta Braves|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 28, 1996, for the Colorado Rockies|
|Runs batted in||357|
|Career highlights and awards|
Milton Bernard Thompson (born January 5, 1959) is a former Major League Baseball left fielder and pinch hitter who is currently a coach in the Houston Astros Minor League system. Thompson played with several teams (including the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves), and hit a career average of .274.
Major league career
The Braves began Thompson's career by drafting him in the 2nd round of the 1979 draft, and starting him five years later in 1984. After playing in left field, Atlanta traded Thompson with Steve Bedrosian to the Phillies for Ozzie Virgil, among others. Thompson impressed Philadelphia, batting .251 to .303 during his three-year stint there.
On December 16, 1988, Thompson was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Steve Lake and Curt Ford, where he spent four years and batted for his highest average ever, .307. In 1992, Thompson was granted free agency. As a free agent, he signed once again with the Phillies, playing on their 1993 National League Champion team and playing left field through the World Series against the Toronto Blue Jays. During the ensuing offseason, Thompson was traded to the Houston Astros for pitcher Tom Edens. Once again, in 1994, Thompson was granted free agency after being with Houston for only seven months. He re-signed with Houston as a free agent, which extended his career there to two years. After that, Thompson was back in free agency, and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, which led to him being selected off waivers for the Colorado Rockies in July, 1996. His career with the Rockies only lasted three months: Thompson was released on August 2 of the same year, ending his career.
In 1997, Milt became the minor league outfield/baserunning coordinator in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays organization. In 1998, he joined the Phillies as a minor league coach. He lasted there for two seasons, until taking 2000 off, until returning to become a minor league baserunning/outfield coordinator again in the Phillies' farm system. On September 9, 2003, Thompson joined the major league Phillies staff as first base coach. The next year, he changed coaching positions to hitting, where he has been for two seasons. Since Thompson's tenure as batting coach the Phillies have led the league twice in runs scored, even though they have alternated between only 2nd and 3rd place in their respective division due to pitching difficulties. Thompson was one of the only coaches not fired from the organization in 2005. As the hitting coach of the 2008 World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, he earned his first World Series ring of his long career in baseball. The Phillies would return to the World Series in 2009, where they lost to the New York Yankees in six games. Having played for the 1993 National League Champions, Thompson joined Larry Bowa and John Vukovich as the only Phillies in franchise history to go to the World Series as both a player and coach for the club.
On Thursday, July 22, 2010, Milt Thompson was relieved of his duties as hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies. Former Minor League hitting coach Greg Gross has replaced Thompson. He was hired by the Houston Astros in the offseason to be their outfield/baserunning coordinator in their Minor League system.
Thompson has four daughters. He resides in Washington Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey with his family.
- Hit .313 with 6 RBI in 1993 World Series and set a Phillies record with 5 RBI in Game 4 at Veterans Stadium.
- Attended Colonel Zadok A. Magruder High School and Howard University
- Graduated from high school in 1977, where, among playing baseball, he played football and ran track
- Thompson was well known for his incredible feats in left field during the early 1990s, including catching several balls over the fence. One famous play took place during the bottom of the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres, with the Phillies up by 2, with the bases loaded and two outs. Thompson robbed the Padres of a grand slam in the final moments of the inning, snatching a ball over the wall.
- Milt resides in Sewell in Washington Twp.
- He is now with the Kansas City Royals Single A affiliate, Wilmington Blue Rocks (https://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Milt_Thompson)
- Thompson, Milt Archived 2006-06-14 at the Wayback Machine Baseball Library
- "Phils Trade Thompson For 2 Cards". philly-archives. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
- Milt Thompson Baseball Reference
- Coach Bios - Hitting - Thompson, Milt Phillies.com