Random Player Review: Gorman Thomas

In honor of today’s Milwaukee Brewers season preview, we examine a player in Random Player Review named Gorman Thomas. One of the most popular players in Brewers history, and affectionately known as “Stormin’ Gorman”. Thomas was the first player ever picked by the Seattle Pilots in the 1969 player draft. A center fielder, Thomas was known for big time power and strike-outs that led to a typically low batting average (he hit just .225 for a career in nearly 5000 career at-bats).

Thomas’ best year came in 1979, when he hit a career high 45 home runs and drove in 123. He came in 7th in the MVP balloting that year and wasn’t named to the All-Star team, with his lone All-Star appearance being in 1981.

Thomas played for the Cleveland Indians (in 1983 he was involved in a controversial trade that sent him to the Indians in exchange for Rick Manning) and Seattle Mariners for a spell later in his career, returning to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1986 as a free agent to finish his career. Thomas hit .179 in 44 games with the Brewers that year, with just 6 home runs. Mired in a period of mediocrity, the Brewers released Thomas ending his career. He retired with 268 home runs and 782 RBI.

Thomas was the 1985 Comeback Player of the Year, hitting 32 home runs and driving in 87 that year, despite hitting just .215.

We like Thomas because he looks exactly how you’d expect a Brewers player to look. The guy is folklore and nostalgia combined; and his legacy continues today with the addition of Gorman’s Grill restaraunt in right field at Miller Park, where Thomas often works at the counter and makes appearances.