When you talk about the great Brewer teams of the late 70's and early 80's, Gorman Thomas is a name that should come up frequently. Thomas led the AL with 45 home runs in 1979 and all of baseball with 39 in 1982, and between 1978 and the Brewers' pennant-winning season he was a .245/.339/.504 hitter in center field, crushing 175 home runs and twice receiving MVP votes.
Unfortunately, Thomas' career came off the rails a bit in 1983. Fresh off one of the best seasons in his career Thomas was hitting .183/.284/.323 in his first 46 games, and on this day that year the Brewers gave up and traded him to Cleveland as part of a five-player deal that brought outfielder Rick Manning and pitcher Rick Waits to Milwaukee.
There isn't much worth saying about Manning's time in Milwaukee: He hit .237/.295/.345 over 492 games in five seasons for the Crew, and is best remembered for getting booed after his walkoff hit cost Paul Molitor one more shot to extend his hitting streak in 1987. Waits wasn't much better, posting a 4.80 ERA in 81 Brewer appearances.
Sadly, Thomas' career was also more or less over at this point. He hit .202/.319/.389 between the Indians, Mariners and a return engagement with the Brewers before being done as a major leaguer in 1986.
With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to: