⚾ Thomson Leads Phillies to 2023 MLB Postseason

PHILADELPHIA — Former Kansas baseball catcher and current Philadelphia Phillies manager, Rob Thomson, has led the Phillies organization back to the postseason for the second consecutive season. The Phillies will play in the NL Wild Card series against Miami, beginning on Tuesday, Oct. 3 at 7:08 p.m. CT.

Thomson, who played at KU from 1983-85 and recorded the best hitting season in program history in 1984, was named the interim manager for the Phillies on June 3, 2022. Thomson had the interim tag removed from his title on October 10, 2022, and was given a two-year contract extension. He took over the 2022 club with a 22-29 record and led the Phillies to the postseason.

In 2023, Philadelphia finished with a record of 90-72 and earned the top Wild Card spot in the postseason. The 90 wins were the Phillies most since the 2011 season. It’s also the first time since 2010-11 that the Phillies have made the postseason in back-to-back years.

Thomson was a career .369 hitter during his three seasons at KU, which is tied for the fifth-highest career batting average in program history (minimum 200 at-bats). He also ended his career with the sixth-best slugging percentage at .570 and ninth-highest on-base percentage at .448. Following the 1984 and 1985 seasons, Thomson was awarded the Gib Francis MVP Award as voted on by his teammates.

The 1984 season was the best offensively for Thomson as he led the Big Eight in batting average (.443), hits (70) and doubles (18). The .443 average was not only the best single-season in Kansas history, but it also was the 10th best in the nation. He also had a .671 slugging percentage and .485 on-base percentage in 1984, which both rank 10th in the KU single-season record book (minimum 75 at-bats). Thomson was able to top both of those single-season marks in 1985 with a .678 slugging percentage (seventh all-time) and .519 on-base percentage (third all-time).

Thomson went on to be drafted in the 32nd round of the 1985 MLB Draft by the Detroit Tigers. Following a short playing career with the Tigers, Thomson transitioned into coaching and has spent more than 30 years working in various positions with the Tigers, New York Yankees and now the Philadelphia Phillies.

Thomson spent 27 years in the Yankees organization in the front office and as a coach. He was the bench coach for the 2009 World Series Champion New York Yankees. Thomson helped coach Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez during his time in New York and was in the organization for five World Series Championships.