Thursday, January 23, 2014

1964 Phillies @ 50: Frank Thomas (the Original) 1965 Topps #123

Yesterday as part of our 2014 HoF feature we took a look at Frank Thomas. Today as part of our 1964 Phillies Series we take a look at the other Frank Thomas.

1965 Topps #123 Frank Thomas

The first Frank Thomas came over to the Phillies via a trade in August of the 1964 season. He had an immediate impact for the team clubbing 7 Home Runs in his first month with the Phillies. Unfortunately in a game versus the Dodgers on September 7th Thomas broke is thumb diving into second base. It was a critical loss, following the acquisition Thomas the Phillies added 5 games to their lead in the standings. Thomas missed 16 games, upon his return the Phillies were in freefall - right in the middle of their 10 game losing street. 

Despite only playing 39 games for the 1964 Phillies, Thomas' 7 Home Runs ranked 5th on the team. He batted .294 with a .517 slugging percentage (130 OPS+) during the stretch.

Thomas' tenure for the Phillies was less than a year. In July of 1965 there was an altercation between Thomas and Richie Allen, which by accounts was over racial comments made by Thomas. Phillies beat writer Stan Hochman

Scroll forward to the :45 second mark for comments regarding Thomas/Allen confrontation

That altercation led to the Phillies letting go of Thomas, At the time the details of the incident were not accurately publicized which helped lead to the vilification of Dick (then Richie) Allen in the city of Philadelphia. It should be noted that Thomas and Dick Allen have since resolved their differences 

1965 Topps 
This is Frank Thomas last card and only card representing the Phillies. Thomas stuck around through 1966 but his time with the Astros and Milwaukee Braves is not represented on Cardboard. 

For more thoughts on this card and much more info on Thomas career outside the Phillies check out The Great 1965 Topps Project

Found this oddity in the Thomas card canon - you make the call, does his 1961T card match 1962T  

Phun Phacts
Baseball Todd's Dugout had an interesting interview with Thomas from February 2003. We find out 1) Frank Thomas is a baseball card collector, who unfortunately lost his collection in a fire. - AND HE HAS A BLOG sort of dedicated to his collection.  2) While with the Cubs and Mets (but not the Phillies) his road roommate was RIchie Ashburn. 

Also here  is a Sports Illustrated feature on Thomas from July 28 1958.   

1964 Philies Series 
Johnny Callison
Tony Gonzalez
Tony Taylor
Frank Thomas

The Year of the Blue Snow: The 1964 Phillies

Philadelphia the Great Experiment
Baseball Todd's Dugout
Sports Illustrated

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