Jump to content
Brewer Fanatic

This Day in Brewer History - 6/6/1983


A day that will live in infamy in the annals of Brewer history. Tough to believe that it was 30 years ago today that the Brewers traded Gorman Thomas to the Indians. I remember I was at some kind of church summer school function and one of the older kids came in with the news. Of course, back in those days, I didn't believe it until I saw it on the news. I was crushed. I knew who Rick Manning was, because he gave me an autograph a few years before, but I still knew that it was a horrible deal. The trade was definitely worse on a symbolic basis than on paper, but those were dark days. Anybody else have any memories?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Recommended Posts

I remember the day when I found out Paul Molitor was no longer a Milwaukee Brewer. I said some words I will not repeat here.

 

I also remember seeing that Gary Sheffield had won the batting title the year after leaving Milwaukee. I was none too thrilled then, either.

There are three things America will be known for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: the Constitution, jazz music and baseball. They're the three most beautifully designed things this culture has ever produced. Gerald Early
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brewer Fanatic Contributor

I remember the reaction of so many fans, and I remember Gorman's own reaction - he was crushed.

 

The trade never bothered me personally, I liked Gorman, but nothing more than that.

 

I was at a game in '85 when Gorman came back with the Mariners...after his second home run of the night, the fans gave him a curtain call...he obliged.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was too young to remember the thinking behind the trade but why did they make it? It didn't really look like Manning was anything special with the Indians so was it the Brewers just looking at the way Gorman was playing the first couple of months and thinking he had nothing left in the tank?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gorman was off to a Rickie Weeks type start. The problem was Manning wasn't very good either. Remember, the previous August they traded their top prospect Kevin Bass in the Sutton deal. The team was showing some age starting in 83, they didn't have the prospects to supplant them and Harry Dalton, after having been aggressive in the FA market 4-5 years earlier with Bando and Hisle, was doing nothing in free agency.

 

Personally I think Dalton panicked just a bit in dealing for Sutton. They were 4 1/2 games up with a month to play when he made that deal. For the prior 3 months, without Sutton, the Brewers were 54-29. Sutton's contributions were really a lot less than he gets credit for. In 3 of his 4 wins, the Brewers scored 14, 15, and 10 runs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember when I was a kid Gorman was a guest broadcaster on a TV game and they were talking about trades and he said "For some guys, like me, it can ruin your career." I'm paraphrasing but I think I'm pretty close.
"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the eyeball test, Rick Manning had developed a reputation as being a terrific defensive outfielder. He had won a gold glove, and had good speed. He hit lefthanded. He was kind of the opposite of Gorman Thomas.

 

I remember being frustrated by Gorman's strikeouts and his low batting average. It was a back-of-the-baseball-card type judgment. He was hitting .183 and it seemed reasonable to me to trade him.

 

Manning turned out to be nothing special. Looking back at his stat page, I can't see how he lasted 4 1/2 years with the Brewers. Nowadays, I would think after 2 years of that, they would cut bait.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now it's been 30 years and a day, but I still remember where I was when I found out about the Thomas/Manning trade: at the public library, where I had a high school job, in the Wisconsin State Journal. 1983 was only my second season of closely following baseball, and during 1982 I took a fan shine to Gorman, so I was pretty disappointed. He came back later, but it wasn't quite the same; nevertheless, I had a magazine page photo of Gorman on my dorm room wall during my undergraduate years. (And I lived in girls' dorms. By 1987-1988 my walls also sported a sweet Rob Deer growth chart.)

 

That was my first real lesson in being a fan of the team, not just of individual players.

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was devastated. First time in my life I was absolutely shocked by something. Thomas was my favorite player. And I made damn sure that my parents took me to the game when he came back in 1986. I remember him getting a curtain call in that game... after he struck out.

 

If you've been on this site long enough you've seen me post about the Curse of Gorman Thomas. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Brewers haven't been to the World Series since.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Brewer Fanatic Contributor

When Manning first came up, the Indians thought they had a Paul Molitor on their hands. He was a great defender in center field, but he was also one of the fastest runners in the league. In his first two seasons, Manning hit .285, and .292, but then he had a back injury, and he just never hit well again.

 

Right before the teams made the deal, Manning was hot, he had something like an 18-20 game hitting streak, and Gorman was doing nothing, (a torn rotator cuff was discovered later).

 

The Indians hoped Gorman would get hot, while the Brewers hoped Manning would stay hot...neither got their wish.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember the day of the trade because the Brewers just happened to be on Monday Night Baseball on ABC that night and they had an interview with Harvey Kuehn regarding the trade during the pre-game show.

 

That's where I learned of the trade and I remember being pretty shocked. (This is, obviously, pre-internet days, folks, so I didn't know about it until game time. Of course, some of you younglings are still stuck on the "Monday Night Baseball on ABC" reference.)

- - - - - - - - -

P.I.T.C.H. LEAGUE CHAMPION 1989, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2011 (finally won another one)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

The Twins Daily Caretaker Fund
The Brewer Fanatic Caretaker Fund

You all care about this site. The next step is caring for it. We’re asking you to caretake this site so it can remain the premiere Brewers community on the internet. Included with caretaking is ad-free browsing of Brewer Fanatic.

×
×
  • Create New...