Rob Thomson

From BR Bullpen

Robert Lewis Thomson

BR Manager page

Biographical Information[edit]

Catcher Rob Thomson, who was born in Sarnia, ON but grew up in nearby Corunna, ON, played for Canada in the 1984 Olympics and was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 32nd round of the 1985 amateur draft. At the University of Kansas, he batted .443 in 1984 - the highest mark in school history - and followed that with a .389 average in 1985. He played in the minors from 1985 to 1988. He was 0 for 5 for the 1985 Bristol Tigers and hit .187/~.237/.252 for the Gastonia Jets that year, playing third base as well as catching. In 1986, Thomson hit .252/~.355/.336 for the Gastonia Tigers and was 4 for 22 with a homer for the Lakeland Tigers. By 1987, he was full-time with Lakeland, managing only a .228/~.312/.301 line in 71 games. He went 0 for 7 for Lakeland in 1988 to finish his career.

Thomson was a minor league coach for the Tigers with the Lakeland Tigers in 1988 and London Tigers in 1989. He joined the New York Yankees organization as coach of the Fort Lauderdale Yankees in 1990 and Prince William Cannons in 1991. He spent the 1992-1993 season as a coach with the Albany-Colonie Yankees. He coached the Oneonta Yankees in 1994, then managed the club in 1995 to a 34-41 record. Thomson was a coach for the Columbus Clippers in 1996-1997. He served as the minor league field coordinator in 1998-1999, Director of player development from 2000 to 2002 and VP of minor league development in 2003.

In 2007, Thompson was the Yankees' major league field coordinator, acting as a bridge between the Yankees' advance scouts and the coaching staff. In 2008 he was appointed bench coach by new manager Joe Girardi. For the 2009 season, he was reassigned to the position of third-base coach. In 2015 he moved back to being the bench coach. When Girardi was fired following the 2017 season, he was immediately identified as one of the leading candidates to succeed his former boss. After he failed to win that job, which went to Aaron Boone, he went to the Philadelphia Phillies as bench coach for newly-hired manager Gabe Kapler in 2018. He stayed in that role when Girardi replaced Kapler in 2020 and on June 3, 2022 succeeded Girardi as Phillies manager on an interim basis for the remainder of the season when Girardi was fired after a poor start. That made him the first Canadian manager in the majors since George Gibson managed the 1934 Pittsburgh Pirates. His managerial career got off to a great start as the Phillies won their first eight games with him at the helm (they had also been winners in Girardi's last game) to move over .500 after a wretched start. His first loss came on June 12th. On July 12th, he became the first Canadian to manage a game in his home country when the Phillies traveled to Toronto to play the Blue Jays. He led the Phillies to the final wild card spot in the National League and on October 10th, two days after the Phils had upset the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card Series, the interim tag next to his name was removed as he was given a two-year contract. The fairy tale continued as he then led the Phils to defeating the San Diego Padres in the NKCS, four games to one, to clinch the National League pennant for the first time since 2009 and earn a ticket to the World Series, where they were considered major underdogs against the Houston Astros.

As a result of leading the Phillies to the World Series, Thomson had the honor of managing the National League team at the 2023 All-Star Game, becoming the first Canadian to manage either team at the Midsummer Classic. He led his team to a 3-2 win, breaking a string of nine straight losses. In the 2023 NLCS, his opponent for the Arizona Diamondbacks was Torey Lovullo, who had been his teammate with the Lakeland Tigers in 1987.

He was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • Postseason Appearances: 2 (2022 & 2023/Wild Card)
  • NL Pennant: 1 (2022)

Preceded by
Joe Girardi
Philadelphia Phillies Manager
Succeeded by

Year-By-Year Managerial Record[edit]

Year Team League Record Finish Organization Playoffs Notes
1995 Oneonta Yankees New York-Penn League 34-41 9th (t) New York Yankees
2022 Philadelphia Phillies National League 65-46 3rd Philadelphia Phillies Lost World Series replaced Joe Girardi (22-29) on June 3
2023 Philadelphia Phillies National League 90-72 2nd Philadelphia Phillies Lost NLCS
2024 Philadelphia Phillies National League Philadelphia Phillies

Further Reading[edit]

  • Gary Bedore (Kansas City Star): "Phillies’ interim manager Rob Thomson was a baseball star at the University of Kansas", Yahoo! News, June 4, 2022. [1]
  • Anthony DiComo: "They were teammates 36 years ago. Now they’re NLCS foes: Nearly 40 years after playing together at Class A Lakeland, managers face off on NLCS stage",, October 15, 2023. [2]
  • Bryan Hoch: "Thomson interviews for Yanks' manager job: Longtime bench coach is first to meet with club for position",, November 8, 2017. [3]
  • Liz Roscher: "Interim manager no more: Phillies sign Rob Thomson to 2-year contract 1 day before NLDS", Yahoo! Sports, October 10, 2022. [4]
  • Todd Zolecki: "Phillies family, fans all 'ride with Philly Rob': Baseball lifer unaccustomed to attention after rising from anonymity to NL champion skipper",, October 24, 2022. [5]

Related Sites[edit]