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Today In Brewer History: Happy Birthday, Gorman Thomas

Gorman, my miniature dachshund.
Gorman, my miniature dachshund.

On this day in 1950, James Gorman Thomas was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He was the first player ever selected in the June draft by the Seattle Pilots (21st overall) in 1969, and made his major league debut as a Brewer in 1973.

Thomas' career got off to a slow start (he was a .193/.280/.355 hitter between 1973-76 and spent the entire 1977 season in the minors), but his five year peak as a Brewer was one of the best the franchise has ever seen. Between 1978 and 1982 Thomas hit .245/.339/.504 and averaged 35 home runs per season (leading the AL with 45 in 1979 and again with 39 in 1982).

Gorman Thomas was my dad's favorite Brewer and I narrowly avoided being named after him. Thomas' production fell off in 1983 and, just a few weeks after I was born, the Brewers traded him to the Indians in a deal that brought Rick Manning to Milwaukee. Thomas would later return to the Brewers in 1986 and play his last 44 major league games with them.

Thomas turns 61 today. With help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to: