Pinch Thomas

From BR Bullpen

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Chester David Thomas

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9½", Weight 173 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pinch Thomas caught for ten years in the American League, appearing on several World Series teams.

There is a story that as a minor leaguer in 1911 he was attacked by toughs in San Francisco, CA, nearly losing an eye and ending up in bed for quite a while.

He made his debut in 1912, a year when the Boston Red Sox won the 1912 World Series behind the pitching of Smokey Joe Wood. The Red Sox that year used three catchers who got into at least 35 games - Bill Carrigan, Hick Cady, and Les Nunamaker. The next year all three of them, plus Thomas, returned, and each got into at least 27 games. One of them, Bill Carrigan, managed the team for part of the season.

Carrigan managed the team a few more years, and in 1915 Thomas became the regular catcher, while Carrigan and Cady continued to get into games as well. 1915 was young pitcher Babe Ruth's first full year. Before the 1916 season, the Red Sox traded away star outfielder Tris Speaker, but he and Thomas would later be reunited.

Thomas continued to be the starting catcher in 1916 and Carrigan the manager as the Red Sox won their second World Series championship in a row, even without Speaker. Hick Cady continued to be the # 2 catcher.

Chet Thomas showing the signs he gives runners from the Indians in 1921.

Things changed in 1917. Second baseman Jack Barry took over the managerial reins, and Sam Agnew appeared in 85 games at catcher, while Thomas was in 77 and Cady in 14. Thomas was traded after the 1917 season to the Philadelphia Athletics, managed by Connie Mack, a former catcher. The Red Sox picked up veteran catcher Wally Schang in the deal, a much stronger hitter.

Thomas didn't appear with the Athletics but was traded on June 1, 1918 to the Cleveland Indians, Tris Speaker's team. He became the # 2 catcher to Steve O'Neill, and in 1919 Les Nunamaker joined them. Speaker became the manager partway through the 1919 season, and was the manager when the Indians won the 1920 World Series. Thomas appeared in only 9 regular season games in 1920 with the Indians, and once in the Series.

In 1921, Thomas's last season in the majors, O'Neill was still the starting catcher, and Nunamaker was the # 2 catcher. Thomas appeared in 19 games, one less than Ginger Shinault. Young Luke Sewell appeared in his first 3 major league games, and became a fixture at catcher for the Indians for the next decade.

Notable Achievement[edit]

Related Sites[edit]