- As a youngster in West Palm Beach, Florida, Robby grew up with four older brothers, so he was accustomed to getting knocked around on the playing field.
- Robby's wife, Brenda delivered twins Logan and Tyler, August 4, 1989. He also has a daughter, Kristeena.
- Robby was drafted out of Palm Beach JUCO in Florida and is a graduate of that school. Playing baseball at Palm Beach, Robby focused on the little things, like running the bases properly and turning double plays. His flair for fundamentals is what made him a special player at the Major League level.
- He added weight meant to get some extra pop in his bat in 1989. It helped. He became the first S.F. Giant to reach double figures in doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases since Gary Matthews and Garry Maddox both did it in 1973.
- In 1989 he also became the first S.F. Giant to lead the N.L. in triples, with 11.
- In 1991, Robbie homered on his birthday, May 10; homered again on his wife Brenda's birthday, June 22; and on July 20 he hit another homer vs. Montreal on his daughter Kristeena's birthday.
- Thomson has what it takes to be a manager after his playing days are over, but says he may concentrate on his family instead.
- Dec 1993: The Giants signed Thomson to a 3-year, $12 million contract. They held an option for 1997, too, but bought out that contract for $375,000 in October 1996, making him a free agent.
Jan 1997: He signed with the Indians.
2022: Not long after Robby Thomson was named the Phillies Manager, several of his players were asked what they call Thomson:
Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski called him “Topper.” Bryce Harper called him “Thomps.” Kyle Schwarber calls him “Thomper.”
Aaron Nola calls him “Thompo.”
“It changes,” Nola said. Nola started to run through the possibilities, saying nicknames out loud to see which ones sounded correct to him. “Thomper,” he said. “Thoms. Thomps. It’s usually Thomps or Thompo. Yeah, I guess he’s got about 15 different names.”
“Thoms,” Rhys Hoskins said. “Thomper.” Thomper? “Sure,” Hoskins said. “Thomper or Topper. Thoms.” Hoskins thought more about it, too.
“Five-Nine,” Hoskins said, referring to Thomson’s jersey number. “I’ll call him Five-Nine every once in a while.”
“Thomper,” Connor Brogdon said.
“Now I say skipper,” Phillies infield coach Bobby Dickerson said. “Before I called him Thoms, probably. I didn’t know him before with the Yankees when people called him Topper or whatever. I just called him Toms.” (Todd Zolecki - mlb.com - 6/08/2022)
|Home:||West Palm Beach, Florida||Team:||PHILLIES|
|Birth City:||West Palm Beach, Florida|
|Draft:||Giants #1 - 1983 (secondary) - Out of Univ. of Florida|
PLAYING CAREER NOTES
- Thomson was the Giants' opening day second baseman for 11 consecutive seasons.
- Robby's injuries forced him to make adjustments in his swing which opened up new holes in his swing. His abilities diminished a lot.
- When he was hot, he seemed to gain power and the ball jumped off of his bat.
- Good fastball hitter, so pitchers served him breaking stuff. But by 1991, Thomson had learned to lay off the outside breaking pitch for the most part. He was still susceptible to the high hard one, but will occasionally drive that pitch for extra bases.
- Hit well in the clutch.
- His power was to right center field.
- Mostly a singles hitter. He was a good sacrifice bunter.
- Hit lefty pitching better.
- Robby was an artificial turf hitter, not fairing so well on natural surfaces.
- He looked like the ideal #2 hitter, but wasn't because he struck out so much. He was too impatient at the plate. But he always batted 2nd.
- He was an unselfish hitter.
- Robby was one of the better bunters in the game.
Thomson says he was very close to former Giants' coach Bob "Flea" Lillis. In fact, Robby wears #5, the same number Lillis wore when he was a coach.
"He was like a father to me," Thomson says. "In the spring of 1986, the Giants were looking to trade for Harold Reynolds. A couple of guys got hurt, and I got a chance to play. From what I understand, Lillis talked to the Giants about sticking with me, and they held off on trades."
- Good, soft hands and a slightly-above-average arm. He had good range to his left, but was only fair going to his right. Robby turned the DP as well as anyone in the NL, hanging tough against baserunners. There were many times it looked like Robby would eat the ball, take the force out and get out of the way. But he hung in tough and got the double play.
- He was a scrappy, winning-type player. Very gutty. He was steady, reliable and intelligent.
- His arm had both zip and accuracy. He almost never threw the ball into the dugout. No second baseman got rid of the ball faster or had a stronger arm.
- Teammate Will Clark on Thomson: "Robby has a great presence out there as far as knowing ahead of time who's running, and how fast he has to get rid of it (the ball on a DP). And he doesn't come across like Sandberg. Sandberg doesn't want to get hit. Robby goes to the back of the bag and uses the bag as a shield. He always gets a great throw off."
- Rob won his first Gold Glove in 1993.
POST-PLAYING CAREER POSITIONS
- 1999: Rob was named the Roving Infield Instructor for the Giants. "I remember Wendell Kim and the late Salty Parker helping me as a minor leaguer and thinking what they did would be a great job when I was out of the game," Thomson said.
- 2000-2001: Rob became the Giants First Base Coach.
- 2002: Robby joined the Indians as First Base and Infield Coach. He also is in charge of defensive alignment. Then, in mid-July, he became the Tribe's Bench Coach for new Manager Joel Skinner.
- 2003-June 3, 2005: Thomson was a special assistant in the Indians' baseball operations department.
- June 4, 2005: Robby became bench coach for the Indians, replacing Buddy Bell, who took the job as Manager of the K.C. Royals.
- 2006: Thomson moved back to the front office as a Special Assistant in the baseball operations department.
November 4, 2010: Rob joined the Mariners as Bench Coach under new manager Eric Wedge. He was let go, along with Wedge, after the 2013 season.
- 2022: Thomson replaced Joe Girardi as Manager of the Phillies
Robby went on the D.L. July 5-22, 1993 because of a strained quadriceps.
- Robby suffered a broken left cheekbone when he was hit by a pitch from the Padres Trevor Hoffman September 24, 1993 and missed the last week of the season. When he showed up at Candlestick Park the next day after being hit, the entire left side of his face was swollen and puffy, and his eye was blackened and opened just a slit.
- Thomson went on the D.L. May 8, 1994 with a partial tear in his right rotator cuff. Robby originally hurt it April when diving for a ball on a wet infield in Atlanta. He underwent arthroscopic surgery in July and was on the shelf for the rest of the 1994 season.
- Robby was on the D.L. from May 26-June 10, 1995 with a sore groin muscle.
- He went on the D.L. with a pulled muscle in his right side April 12, 1996, returning to action April 21.
- Robby went on the D.L. with mild arthritis in his neck, suffered when he dove to his left trying to stop a ball, May 30, 1996. The injury was similar to a whiplash. He missed 34 games before returning June 16.
- Thomson went back on the D.L. July 29, 1996 with a strained right hip flexor.
- Robby started the 1997 season on the D.L. after missing most of spring training with tendinitis in his left elbow and right shoulder. He then injured his right hip flexor diving for a ball March 17, the same injury that cost him much of the 1996 season.