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Ray Thomas

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Raymond Joseph Thomas

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[edit] Biographical Information

Ray Thomas was a catcher eleven years (1930-1946), four in college (1930-1933); eight in the minors (1933-1939;1946) and a cup of coffee in 1938, losing six years to the Military (1940-1945). Thomas was born on Saturday, July 9, 1910, in Dover, NH. He attended Western State Teachers College (1930-1933), where he played baseball. Signed by the St. Louis Cardinals as an amateur free agent in 1933, he broke into Organized Baseball at age 22 with Springfield in the Mississippi Valley League. He played for Springfield (1933); Huntington in the Mid-Atlantic League (1934); the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League (1935); and Cedar Rapids in the Western League(1936-1937).

On April 1, 1938 he was Granted Free Agency and on April 15, 1938 he was signed as a Free Agent by the Brooklyn Dodgers. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.) Optioned to Elmira in the Eastern League (1938), Thomas was 28 years old when he broke into the big leagues on July 21, 1938, with Brooklyn. He caught one game and was one for three with a run and five putouts behind the plate.

He returned to the minors with Dallas in the Texas League (1938) and Hartford, Elmira and Scranton in the Eastern League (1939). Thomas served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy during World War II (1940-1945) (BN). In 1946, he played with Raleigh in the Carolina League, ending his baseball playing career at age 35.

In 1937, his best year in the minors, he had 9 home runs and 52 RBI at .304. Overall in the minors, he had 23 home runs and 221 RBI.

He managed minor league baseball before managing The Raleigh, NC Country Club and later, the Holiday Inn at Wilson, NC. He died at age 83 in Wilson on December 6, 1993 and was cremated.

[edit] Sources

Principal sources for Ray Thomas include newspaper obituaries (OB), government Veteran records (VA,CM,CW), Stars & Stripes (S&S), Sporting Life (SL), The Sporting News (TSN), The Sports Encyclopedia:Baseball 2006 by David Neft & Richard Cohen (N&C), old Who's Who in Baseballs (none) (WW), old Baseball Registers (none) (BR) , old Daguerreotypes by TSN (none) (DAG), Stars&Stripes (S&S), The Baseball Necrology by Bill Lee (BN), Pat Doyle's Professional Ballplayer DataBase (PD), The Baseball Library (BL), Baseball in World War II Europe by Gary Bedingfield (GB) ; The Texas League in Baseball, 1888-1958 by Marshall D. Wright; and independent research by Walter Kephart (WK) and Frank Russo (FR) and others.

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