03 November 2012

gary thomasson through the mail success!

gary thomasson just missed out on being a member of the 1978 dodgers and therefore having a more special place in my fandom. in fact, thomasson was a member of the 1978 yankees who crushed my dreams of a world series title that year.  still, he was on the dodger teams of 1979 and 1980 which were ones that i followed closely, and so i associate him with some good times.  he was nice enough to sign a few cards for me through the mail a while back.  here's his 1980 topps card
thomasson was acquired by the dodgers just prior to spring training in 1979 in exchange for brad gulden.  he did manage to get a nice o-pee-chee variation to celebrate the transaction, but 1980 card was his first official dodger card.  too bad there was no 1979 topps traded set.

with rick monday missing almost all of the season, thomasson saw plenty of playing time in 1979 - especially during the first few months of the season.  later on, the dodgers also lost reggie smith, but they called up pedro guerrero and were using derrel thomas more as well, so thomasson split his time between center, right, and coming off the bench as a pinch hitter.

here's his 1981 fleer card, nicely signed, featuring thomasson in the home whites on the field in dodger stadium
and, for comparison, here's his 1981 topps card featuring him in the visitor grays in some generic multipurpose stadium
he also had a card in the 1981 donruss set which featured him, of course, in wrigley field.  the 1981 cards also serve as a final tribute for thomasson, so have a looksie at his complete major league stats
that pinch hit single topps refers to came in game 162 of the 1980 season.  with the dodgers one game behind the astros in the national league west, they faced a must win situation that day.  they were down 3-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning when thomasson was called upon to pinch hit for bobby castillo with one out and derrel thomas on first base.  side note - it was fun to have a thomas and a thomasson on the dodgers so soon after to having a rau and a rautzhan.  later in the 1980's (1985, to be exact) the dodgers would have a howe and a howell, and just a few years ago (2007) they had a martin and a martinez.  anyway, thomasson singled off of the astros' joaquin andujar, and dave lopes followed with an rbi single to score thomas and get the dodgers on the board.  they would eventually win the game and force a game 163 with houston, thanks to a ron cey homer in the bottom of the 8th.  of course, the dodgers lost game 163, and thomasson was 0 for 1 with a pinch hit groundout in the 9th inning.  that would be his final big league at bat.

as you can see by his final stats, thomasson started his career with the giants.  i asked him to sign his 1978 topps card, and he obliged
that's all i have to say about that.

here's to you, gary thomasson!  thanks for signing my cards!

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