⚾️ Thomson Managing the Phillies in the NLCS
LAWRENCE, Kan. — Former Kansas catcher Rob Thomson is currently managing the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series. Thomson played at KU from 1983-85 and recorded the best hitting season in program history in 1984 with a .443 batting average.
“Rob was a great baseball player during his time at Kansas,” Head Coach Dan Fitzgerald said. “We’re incredibly proud of what he’s accomplished in his coaching career, and our program is cheering on him and the Phillies in their pursuit of a World Series Championship.”
Thomson was named the interim manager for the Phillies on June 3, 2022 following the dismissal of Joe Girardi. Thomson had the interim tag removed from his title on October 10 and was given a two-year contract extension. He took over the club with a 22-29 record and led the Phillies to the postseason.
The Phillies defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 2-0 in the first round and then knocked off the defending World Series Champion Atlanta Braves in the National League Division Series with a 3-1 series win. The Phillies are currently tied 1-1 in the NLCS with the San Diego Padres.
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.