Have you heard of Rich Thompson? Unlikely, as he certainly isn’t a big name, but he is a part of an amazing story.
Thompson was a 6th round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2000 amateur draft. He reached the major leagues at the age of 25 as a member of the Kansas City Royals in 2004. Thompson found his way into 6 games, though he only had the opportunity to bat once, in which he grounded into a double play on the only pitch he saw.
It’s been a long wait, more than 8 full years since Thompson could call himself a major league ballplayer, but the time has finally come. He spent several seasons bouncing between various organizations before finding a home within the Phillies organization in 2008. My first encounter with Thompson was back in 2009 when attending a Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs game. I noticed he was from Reading, Pa., a local town that features a Phillies minor league affiliate. I later realized he attended high school in Montrose, PA a town in northeastern Pennsylvania, an area to which my family has some ties.
Thompson didn’t know if he would ever have an opportunity to make it back to the major leagues, but his time finally arrived when he was acquired by the Tampa Bay Rays from Philadelphia on May 16th and added to their active roster. Thompson was placed in the Rays starting lineup on May 17th and recorded his first major league hit at the age of 33, more than 8 years after his big league debut. Rich Thompson is part of an inspirational story that I found worthy of sharing so I’ve attached some online pieces below that are worth a quick read.
Rich Thompson – Major League Statistics
Rich Thompson – Minor League Statistics