Frank Thomas Passes Away at 93

An Original Met


On Monday, an “Original Met,” Frank Thomas, passed away at 93. Thomas was living in an assisted care facility in Pittsburgh when he died.


Thomas played for many teams but most notably, the New York Mets. Thomas hit home runs in their first two stadiums, the Polo Grounds and Shea Stadium. He joked that his goal was to hit a home run in the Mets current home, Citi Field.


Thomas made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1951 where he made three All-Star appearances during his tenure. He also finished fourth in MVP voting and second in the National League during the 1958 season, his final year with the team. He led the Pirates in home runs five times and RBIs four times, including his first year as an everyday starter in 1953. Thomas then briefly spent time with the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Braves before finding success with the New York Mets.


In his first season with the Mets, Thomas hit 34 home runs and 94 RBIs in their inaugural season. The 34 home runs was a Mets team record until it was broken by David Kingman in 1975. The 94 RBIs was also a Mets team record until it was broken in 1970. Following his tenure with the Mets, Thomas then spent time with the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros before returning to the Milwaukee Braves and Chicago Cubs.


In his 16-year career, Thomas posted a .266 batting average with 286 home runs and 962 RBIs in 1,766 games. He was known to be very opinionated and was nicknamed “The Big Donkey” and “Lurch” during his playing career.


Last year, Thomas attended the Mets Old-Timers Day, an event where legends of the team return to the stadium to reconnect with the team that they used to play for. Even though Thomas appeared in a wheelchair due to a fall he suffered the year before, he was still well enough to attend the event nonetheless. Both the fans and the organization were glad to see Thomas appear at the one stadium he never got to play in as a Met.


Thomas was a Pittsburgh native and was very passionate about his charity work with Camp Happy Days-Kids Kickin’ Cancer, Courageous Kidz and the Millvale Meals On Wheels. He was married to Dolores Wozniak, who passed away in 2012. They had eight children, twelve grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.