Gorman Thomas James Gorman Thomas III (born December 12, 1950 in Charleston, South Carolina) is a former Major League Baseball center fielder and right-handed slugger who played in the American League with the Milwaukee Brewers (1973-76, 1978-83, 1986), Cleveland Indians (1983) and Seattle Mariners (1984-86).
One of the most popular players in Brewers history, and affectionately known as "Stormin' Gorman", Thomas hit more home runs between 1978 and 1982 than any Major Leaguer. His frequent strikeouts and low batting average overshadowed his career however. He also was a premier center fielder, with a wide range and good arm until undergoing rotator cuff surgery in 1984 limited his duties and he was utilized primarily as a designated hitter.
Thomas was the first player ever picked by the Seattle Pilots in the June 1969 draft. In the minors he won two home run titles, and made his Major League debut with Milwaukee in 1973. He belted his first home run against Jim Palmer, but was still optioned to the Triple-A Sacramento Solons in the Pacific Coast League. After hitting 51 homers with Sacramento in 1974, he returned to the big team at the end of September.
Gorman became an everday Centerfielder for the Brewers in 1978 and clubbed 32 home runs to go along with 86 RBI. The next season (1979) Thomas enjoyed his best season in the Majors compiling career high numbers in home runs (45, tops in the AL), RBI (123), runs scored (97), hits (136), doubles (29), walks (98), on base percentage (.356), total bases (300), slugging average (.539) and OPS (.895).
In 1980 Thomas had another productive season hitting 38 home runs to go along with 105 RBI and playing in every game. Gorman followed that up in 1981 by finishing 2nd in the AL in home runs with 21 and being named to the AL All-Star Team.
1982 was another big year for Gorman as he hit an AL high 39 home runs (tying with Reggie Jackson for the League lead) and drove in 112 runs to help the Brewers win the American League Championship and face the Cardinals in the World Series. Unfortunately the Brewers lost to the Cardinals in seven games, with Thomas himself striking out against Bruce Sutter to end the Series.
During the next season in 1983 he was involved in a controversial trade that sent him to the Indians in exchange for Rick Manning. He also played with the Mariners and returned to Milwaukee in 1986 for a last run.
Thomas was a career .225 hitter with 268 home runs and 782 RBI in 1435 games. An All-Star in 1981, he was considered for the MVP Award in 1979 (7th) and 1982 (8th). In 1982 Gorman was named an Outfielder on The Sporting News AL All-Star Team and also was selected as The Sporting News AL Comeback Player of the Year in 1985 as a member of the Seattle Mariners. At present, he works under a personal services contract with the Brewers to make appearances in the community and welcome visitors to Gorman's Grill at Miller Park.