Thursday, January 10, 2008

Larry Thomas

I remember first seeing Larry Thomas in an exhibition game against the Cubs in 1992 or 1993. I came away very impressed. I tried to follow him through the minors, at a time when that was relegated to the back of the local sports page. It wasn't a successful venture, but I saw his name every so often.

Larry never lived up to the hype of that first glimpse. Chicago was buzzing about his exhibition game performance and hailing him as the next great ace. It was never to be.

Part of the joy of the Internet is being able to gather a lot of information. I was able to gather statistics on Larry, but nothing on his back story. A search of Larry Thomas turns up the Soup Nazi. So, Larry, no soup for you! Come back, one year!

Essentially, that's what Larry ended up doing. Going through his statistics is like trying to solve a labyrinth. He started 1991 in A- ball, then moved up to AA. In 1992, he started in A+ ball, then moved back to AA. In 1993, he started in A+ ball, then moved up to AA, then AAA. In 1994, he stayed the whole year in AA ball.

1995 found Larry starting the year in AA. He finally made his major league debut that year. In 1996, he stayed the whole year on the major league team. In 1997, he split time between the parent club and AAA. By the end of that year, he was traded to the Rangers for Benji Gil. Larry never played in the majors again.

Larry ended up with a 2-3 record and a 3.02 ERA in parts of three seasons. What happened to this player with such a promising future? Did the White Sox put too much pressure on him? Was the Cubs game just a fluke? We may never know the answers to this. Larry doesn't even have his own wikipedia page. The actor who plays the Soup Nazi does, but not Larry Thomas the baseball player.


swingdoc said...

Larry become a college coach in Mobile,AL after 2 arm surgeries and another comeback attempt....his arm just didnt hold up. Great pitching coach as I played 2 yrs for him.

Steve Gierman said...

Great to hear that he did well after the majors! Thanks for the info!

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