The New York Mets announced on Monday that longtime big-league outfielder Frank Thomas had died at age 93. This Thomas, not to be confused with Hall of Famer Frank Thomas who played for the Chicago White Sox during the 1990s, played in parts of 16 seasons, stretching from 1951-66.
Thomas suited up for seven teams during his career, including an eight-year stint as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was also an original member of the Mets, having been acquired from the Milwaukee Braves prior to their inaugural season. Thomas also saw action with the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, Braves, Cincinnati Reds, and the Houston Astros.
Thomas received Most Valuable Player Award consideration on five occasions, though he finished higher than 10th in balloting just once — in 1958, when he topped out at fourth, behind Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, and Henry Aaron. Thomas made three All-Star Games during his day: 1954, 1955, and 1958.
For as productive as Thomas was during parts of his career, he became equally as well known for his battles with management, particularly legendary general manager Branch Rickey. Thomas explained his beef with Rickey during a SABR panel in 2018, saying “he treated me like I was dirt on his feet.”
Overall, Thomas appeared in nearly 1,800 big-league games, amassing a .266/.320/.454 slash line (107 OPS+) and notching 286 home runs. His contributions were worth an estimated 18.7 Wins Above Replacement, according to the calculations housed at Baseball-Reference.