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Power surge
The '50s was the decade of power and the numbers put up by the untainted athletes were impressive.
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Jimmy Palermo, during a historic 7-day span in May, 1939, saw the meteoric rise of Williams and tragic decline of Gehrig.


An exclusive WIWAG ongoing feature.

The field seemed vast to a 7-year old who had looked forward to this day for two months.

The year marks the 60th anniversary of the first major league tryout for black players.


Bud Fowler is the first know black players on an integrated team.

of the '50s

Qualify as Grade A10.

First sports bar featured 12-inch Farnsworth TV.


Two unsuspecting vintage baseball fans rediscover a "National Treasure."
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THOMAS' choice of lumber is a Louisville Slugger (model D2) with a signature barrel stamp.

FRANK THOMAS used this bat at Busch Stadium in a Pirates-Cardinal series in June of 1954. The 6-3, 210 pound clean-up hitter went 3 for 4 with a solo homer in a 4-2 Bucs win in the second game of that series.

THOMAS, who hit .298 and made the National League all-star team, was a bright spots for the Pirates in 1954. He led the team in hits (172), doubles (32), homers (23), extra base hits (62) and RBIs (94).



ALL-STAR: 1954, 1955, 1958

Thomas posted 11 straight years with double-figure home runs

Was the National League's starting third baseman in the 1958 all-star game


FRANK THOMAS played with the Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Braves, Mets, Phillies and Astros.

Frank Thomas began his Major League career on August 17, 1951 with the Pittsburgh Pirates at the age of 22. He played outfield, first base and third base for 16 seasons with the Pirates, Reds, Cubs, Braves, Mets, Phillies and Astros. He ended his big league playing career in 1966.

A strapping, 6-3, 210-lb slugger, Thomas hit 30 home runs in 1953, his first full Major League season with his hometown Pirates — and was considered the successor of Ralph Kiner who was traded to the Cubs that June.

Thomas followed with 11 straight years of double-figure home runs, his best campaign coming in 1958 when he finished second in the National League to Ernie Banks with 35 home runs and 109 RBI. That August 16th, he hit three home runs in a game.

He was an all-star outfielder in 1954 and '55 and was the National League's starting third baseman in the 1958 all-star game.

In 1962 he led the expansion Mets with 34 home runs and 94 RBIs — hitting two homers in each of three consecutive games on the first three days in August. The closest he came to playing for a pennant winner was 1964 when, in August, the Mets traded him to the Phillies, who appeared headed for a championship.

But, Thomas broke his right thumb in early September, and was ineffective upon his return. The Phillies, meanwhile, finished in second place with the Cardinals clinching it in the last week of the season. On July 3, 1965 he got into a fight with teammate Richie Allen. Despite hitting a pinch homer in the game, he was immediately placed on waivers.

Thomas finished his career with a .266 lifetime average, with 1,671 hits, 286 home runs and 962 RBIs.

FRANK THOMAS: Did you know...

...Thomas was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates before the 1948 season as an amateur free agent.

...Thomas was traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates in Jan. 1959 with Whammy Douglas, Jim Pendleton, and John Powers to the Cincinnati Redlegs for Smoky Burgess, Harvey Haddix, and Don Hoak.

...Thomas was traded by the Cincinnati Redlegs in Dec. 1959 to the Chicago Cubs for Lee Walls, Lou Jackson, and Bill Henry.

...Thomas was traded by the Chicago Cubs in May 1961 to the Milwaukee Braves for Mel Roach.

...Thomas was traded by the Milwaukee Braves in Nov. 1961 with a player to be named later to the New York Mets for a player to be named later and cash. The New York Mets sent Gus Bell (May 21, 1962) to the Milwaukee Braves to complete the trade. The Milwaukee Braves sent Rick Herrscher (May 21, 1962) to the New York Mets to complete the trade.

...Thomas was traded by the New York Mets in Aug. 1964 to the Philadelphia Phillies for Wayne Graham, Gary Kroll, and cash.

...Thomas was purchased by the Houston Astros in July 1965 from the Philadelphia Phillies.

...Thomas was traded by the Houston Astros in Sept. 1965 to the Milwaukee Braves for a player to be named later. The Milwaukee Braves sent Mickey Sinnerud (minors) to the Houston Astros to complete the trade.

...Thomas was released in April 1966 by the Atlanta Braves.

...Thomas was signed as a Free Agent in May 1966 with the Chicago Cubs.

...Thomas was released in June 1966 by the Chicago Cubs.

...Thomas was born on June 11, 1929 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

FRANK THOMAS was one of baseball's most feared hitters during the 1950s, and was also an outstanding outfielder.

JUST HAPPY TO BE HERE: Thomas, above left, along with Gil Hodges and Don Zimmer, jump for joy in the Polo Grounds to be with the Mets during the team's inaugural season in 1962. Thomas led the expansion Mets during the '62 season with 34 home runs and 94 RBIs — hitting two homers in each of three consecutive games on the first three days of August.


THOMAS APPEARED on the July 28, 1956 cover of Sports Illustrated.