Gorman Thomas, added to the Brewers Walk of Fame in 2004, was a key cog in the powerful Brew Crew of the late '70s and early '80s. A first-round pick of the Seattle Pilots in 1969, Thomas grew up along with the fledgling Brewers franchise. From 1978-82, Thomas belted 175 home runs including 45 in 1979, a franchise record that stood until Richie Sexson equaled it in 2001 and 2003. He participated in an online chat with fans Thursday.
bmann76: Obviously you have some great moments and memories from your career in Milwaukee, but other than the World Series, what was your greatest memory or moment playing in Milwaukee?
Gorman Thomas: That's a slam dunk. It would be my first game back after I was traded to the Indians.
Base_Ball: After hearing all of the stories of the flip game, who do you think was the best flip player on the early 80's Brewer teams?
Thomas: Me! No doubt.
Base_Ball: What do you think of the job Ned Yost has done and is doing to turn the Brewers organization around? How would you compare him to former Brewer managers like Harvey Kuenn?
Thomas: It's kind of the same situation, all that is asked of the player is to go out and play hard and good things will happen. Always give it your all.
Base_Ball: Hey Stormin'. It's an honor. I was 10 years old growing up in Milwaukee when you guys were whacking balls all over the place in 1982 and I have loved the game ever since. Who was that Yankee pitcher who used to throw you those lob balls?
Thomas: Dave LaRoche. When he did it the first time I was in shock, I didn't know what was going on. I asked the catcher "why me?" His reply, "Because it's you," and I said, "thanks a lot."
Base_Ball_3: Gorman, how does today's outfield stack up against those you were apart of?
Thomas: I was fortunate to play with two great outfielders on both sides of me, Charlie (Moore) and Benji (Oglivie). We fed off of each other.
bmann76: How does it feel to still be such a big part of the organization and to be recognized almost like a cult figure?
Thomas: I don't consider myself a cult figure. I was just a part of a great team. I think we made each other better. I've always been proud to be a part of the organization. We had great years from 1978 to 1982 and I think the fans enjoyed the success we had as much as we did. They certainly were part of our success.
spaethman: Hi Gorman, how was Brewers Fantasy Camp this year? I was there in 1999 and hope to give it another try someday.
Thomas: You missed a great camp this year. A lot of guys from the '82 team were there and stories were running rampant. I'm sure all the campers had a good time.
Base_Ball_3: Gorman, I love "Gorman's Corner." Anything new cooking this year?
Thomas: You never know. You might find road-kill deluxe. All kidding aside, the barbecue, with my special sauce is absolutely killer. It is the best sauce you'll ever have. That's a fact!
bmann76: Great times and all, did your career feel any less special in not winning the World Series in 1982?
Thomas: I had a wonderful career here. It was not a Hall of Fame career, but all I ever wanted to do was to play ball. I got my chance here and have no regrets. Maybe a small one. We didn't win Game 7. Other than that I couldn't have picked a better place for me to play if I had to.
spaethman: How's your golf game these days?
Thomas: Well, I have a new set of Callaway irons and the new Callaway 454 driver. I have been hitting balls for the last six days trying to get the rust off. My first tournament this year is the third week of April in San Diego. Living up here kind of puts me behind the other players on the tour. It takes me until June to get right. I played well toward the end of the season last year and hope to continue this year. I'm working on a few things that I hope will take me to the next level. I only need just a little more.
Base_Ball_4: Has anything been written about the '82 team or that era? If not, someone should write a book about the Brewers.
Thomas: Funny you should ask. I started compiling stories not only of the '82 team, but numerous other characters that I encountered during my career here. It's going to be a book of funny stories, not trash. Also, it will have many pictures. Hopefully I can put it together. I do get headaches trying to remember all that I've seen. Can you imagine reading stories about players named Sea Pig, Tour Guide, Gumby, The Vuke, Munchie and The Little Gobbler? You can imagine my dilemma.
Scott_Johnston: Which player from the '82 season do you still keep in contact with the most?
Thomas: I still see Gant (Jim Gantner ) at the ballpark. I see Vuke (Pete Vuckovich) when he comes to town. I play tag e-mail with (Mike) Caldwell and Buck Martinez. I also see (Rollie) Fingers and (Kurt) Bevacqua during the golf season.
Base_Ball_2: Gorman, what is your most memorable moment as a Brewer?
Thomas: As mentioned before, my first game back as an Indian was No. 1, but Opening Day 1973 as a rookie is right up there. Opening Day 1978 punching out four times and thinking my career was over only to be told that tomorrow I'd get another chance to do something and I hit a grand slam. Playing in the World Series. The fantastic parade after the series. Being a member of the 1982 American League Champions and just playing with a bunch of great guys from '73 to '83.
Base_Ball_3: What local charity golf events will you be playing this year?
Thomas: I try to play in as many as I'm asked to, but playing on the tour and working at the ballpark takes up a lot of my time.
Base_Ball: Who is the funniest person you have ever played with or against in your career?
Thomas: I played with many goof balls. Jamie Easterly, Mike Caldwell, and of course Gumby (Gantner). Jim Colborn, Bert Blyleven, and Rick Sutcliffe, aka Marmaduke.
Base_Ball_2: What do you think of the Brewers chances to get to .500 this year or to contend for a playoff spot?
Thomas: Very good. They showed last year that they can contend. The experience that they got last year was great and it showed that they can play with the best.
jimdash: Hi Stormin' Gorman. I grew up watching you hit the long ball at County Stadium. My saddest day was my birthday in 1983 when you were traded. What was it like to leave a team with as much chemistry as the Brewers?
Thomas: It broke my heart. Plain and simple.
Thomas: Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to a great 2005 Brewers season. Go Brewers!
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.