The Racing Sausages run between innings at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA Today Sports
Nothing beats good facial hair. Whether looking back at the 1972 Oakland A’s or the modern day Boston Red Sox, baseball and facial hair go together like rally caps and desperation. The rich history of beards, chops, and general shagginess very much applies to Brewer history. Today we celebrate Stormin’ Gorman Thomas.
Thomas bashed 32 home runs in 1978 and then 45 home runs in 1979 (tops in American League). Thomas kept up his power hitting in 1980, jacking 38 home runs with 105 runs batted in. After finishing second in the AL in home runs with 21 in 1981, Thomas hit a league high 39 in 1982. Thomas’ slugging in ’82 led the Brewers to their one and only World Series appearance where they went on to lose to the Cardinals in seven games. From 1978 to 1983, no one hit more home runs in the American League than Thomas who had 197 bombs.
After struggling in 1975 and 1976 in the majors, Thomas was sent back down to the minors. In 1977, he spent the full year in the minors where he used his time to study Philadelphia Phillies slugger Mike Schmidt. Thomas went as far as taking pictures of Schmidt while he was batting in order to mimic his stance and swing.
The Facial Hair
One look at Gorman Thomas during his playing days and it was easy to make the assumption, “So you’re the guy that hits home runs, right?” Thomas signature facial hair was his bushy mustache, sometimes very bushy but usually within the “Einstein” to “Magnum PI” range. At times, Thomas grew out handlebars as well as accessorized his mustache with chops or a full beard.
Today Thomas welcomes fans to Gorman’s Grill and continues to rock the bushy mustache, albeit a more trimmed version.
What is your favorite memory of Thomas? Let us know below and also feel free to suggest who you would like to see featured in Great Moments in Brewer Facial Hair…