100 Greatest Phillies: 52 – Roy Thomas – Phillies Nation
100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 52 – Roy Thomas

Roy Thomas
1899-1908, 1910-1911

Career w/Phillies: .294 AVG / 6 HR / 264 RBI / 228 SB

Born in Norristown, he played almost all of his career with his hometown team. Then he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. And for much of 11 seasons, Roy Thomas was among the top offensive players in baseball. He was top 10, National League, in on-base percentage nine times (28th all time), batting average three times and runs eight times. Thomas was the consummate leadoff hitter, stealing almost 20 bases per season and reaching 100 walks seven times. And amazingly, he is the only major league regular to score three times as much as he’s driven in. Pretty perfect as a leadoff hitter.

Comment: A very early star, Thomas is too overlooked to be considered one of the greatest leadoff hitters of all time by most experts, but he probably was. He walked a lot. He stole a lot of bases. He hit a lot of singles. Then he scored runs. A great player.



  1. Jh

    February 3, 2009 at 9:58 pm


  2. Chuck P

    February 3, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    The dates should read 1899-1908,1910-1911…

    I really enjoy what you’re doing. It helps me burn some free time… Thomas was the inspiring force behind the NL changing the foul ball rule in 1901 (that is when foul balls became strikes). Thomas holds the unofficial consecutive foul-ball record, 22 in one plate appearance. He was also a very good coach for the University of Pennsylvania. Interestingly, his coaching career began in 1909 while he was still playing in the majors. He compiled a 106-43-3 record… that’s a .632 winning percentage. Pretty remarkable.

  3. phils 50+

    February 4, 2009 at 9:11 am

    And he was a better Phillie than Pete Rose. I never heard of this guy. When I read the name before reading his story, I thought maybe it was a conglomerate Frank Thomas/Roy Seivers character. I never heard of Roy Thomas. Seriously, I appreciate the research into these old timers in Phils’ history, the losingest franchise in professional sports. When I read about guys from the 10’s, 20’s, 30’s,… I can’t help but wonder if Frank (Pancho) Herrera or Tony Gonzalez from the early 60’swill be on this list. Maybe I “misremembered” them already being on the list.

    Keep the list coming, Tim. It creates debate and discussion, plus it stirs fond memories for fans of all ages.

  4. I know Sal..

    February 4, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Tim…put the calendar away, and make your own list up…this is terrible!

  5. I know J and Gianna...

    February 4, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    I know the top 10:

    1) Desi Relaford
    2) Jerry Spradlin
    3) Jeff Juden
    4) Dickie Thon
    5) Danny Tartabull
    6) Ricky Otero
    7) Nelson Figueroa
    8) Tom Prince
    9) Yorkis Perez
    10) Ryan Nye


  6. OZ

    February 4, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Dear “I Know J And Gianna” AND “I know Sal”,

    Quit breakin’ Tim’s chops. If you disagree, say so with some intellegent or humorous responses. If it gets you that bent out of shape, find another website. There’s plenty of them out there.

  7. I know Sal..

    February 5, 2009 at 10:03 am

    you want something intelligent and/or humorous…Pete Rose #54! Now that there is some funny $hit!

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