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Today In Brewer History: Thomas reaches 40

It only took eleven years for the first Brewer to hit 40 home runs, and it happened 34 years ago today.

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On this day in 1979 the Angels beat the Brewers 5-2 at Anaheim Stadium. Gorman Thomas was one of the bright spots in a losing effort, though, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run, his 40th of the season. He became the first Brewer ever to go deep 40 times.

Thomas' previous career high for home runs had been 32, set the previous season, and the Brewers' previous franchise record had been 36, set by George Scott in 1975. This was the only time Thomas would reach 40 in his 13 major league seasons, but he did lead all of baseball with 39 in 1982.

September of 1979 was a great month for the Brewer slugger, as he hit .280/.385/.624 to cap off a season where he hit 45 homers and finished seventh in the AL MVP voting. All told Thomas hit 208 home runs as a Brewer, the fifth most in franchise history.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

  • 2008-10 Brewer Todd Coffey, who turns 33.
  • Gratiot, Wisconsin native Abner Dalrymple, who would have turned 156. He played 12 major league seasons between 1878-1891 as a member of four teams, including the Milwaukee Grays and the American Association's Milwaukee Brewers.

Today is also the ninth anniversary of Scott Podsednik stealing his 55th base in 2004, setting a Milwaukee-era franchise record. We covered that event in this space two years ago.