Thomas, Stan (1987)
One baseball honor had escaped Mexico native Stan Thomas, who in a four-year major league career had pitched for Texas, Cleveland, Seattle and the New York Yankees.
‘‘Hey, find out from those guys back there when I’m going to make the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame,’’ he prompted an interviewing reporter in 1984.
A bit late, perhaps, the powerful righthander joins that select group.
He’ll fly to Portland from Redmond, Wash., where he resides with wife Jayne and five-year-old daughter Jayne Leigh. Thomas represents Washington and Oregon for a sporting goods firm based in Santa Ana, Calif.
Teenager Thomas left Maine for a summer Williams’ baseball camp, two years at Florida State and a summer with the Rookie League. He was 14-3 at the University of New Haven, Conn., and was first signed by the Washington Senators.
Then came the minors — Burlington, N.Y., of the NY-Penn League, Pittsfield, Mass., of the Eastern and Spokane, Wash., of the Pacific Coast.
Spokane’s parent club, the Texas Rangers, summoned Thomas June 27, 1974. On July 6, he was called to the mound in the first inning by Rangers’ manager Billy Martin to face the Yankees with the bases loaded and none out.
Stan’s first pitch was cracked for a single. Next night — the same bases-full situation. Bobby Murcer promptly singled. Things were a bit better in the final game of the series.
Thomas toiled for the Maracaibo (Venezuela) Oilers of the Inter-American League in 1979, and for the Mexico City Tigers of the Mexican League in 1980.
Thomas’ first meeting with South Portland’s Jim Beattie was unique. Thomas came on in the ninth inning to relieve Syracuse, N.Y., Chiefs starter Beattie. The Yankees’ International League Triple A farm team beat Tidewater, 6-1.
Thomas received more ink from one incident than in compiling an 11-14 record. He was fined a reported $1,000 by Seattle manager Darrell Johnson for seemingly taking aim at the head of Minnesota’s Mike Cubbage.
Thomas recalls a phone conversation with his Dad after a miserable 1-6 record at the All-Star break. Henry cautioned, ‘‘If you can’t get ’em out you can come home and work around the yard with your brother.’’ What a motivator can do to lift you to a 7-7 record and to the big leagues in two years!
From Baseball Reference
Bats: Right • Throws: Right
6-2, 185lb (188cm, 83kg)
Born: July 11, 1949 (Age: 70-018d) in Rumford, ME us
Draft: Drafted by the Washington Senators in the 27th round of the 1971 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of New Haven (West Haven, CT).
Schools: Florida State University (Tallahassee, FL), University of New Haven (West Haven, CT)