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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Eric Thornton realized in college he had pro potential; Played two pro seasons, made Pittsfield

Eric Thornton didn't think he had a shot at the pros out of high school. But once he hit college and did well, his thinking changed, he told The Montgomery Advertiser in June 1989. 

"That's when I realized that I had the potential to do something," Thornton told The Advertiser. "I think I improved a lot this year by learning to hit the ball to the opposite field."

Thornton spoke to The Advertiser after he turned pro, drafted by the Mets. His pro career, however, proved brief. He played two seasons and made short-season Pittsfield.

Thornton's career began that year in 1989, taken by the Mets in the 40th round of the draft out of Alabama's Faulkner University.

Thornton is the brother of Lou Thornton, who by that time had seen parts of three seasons in the majors. He returned to the bigs in 1989, with the team that drafted his brother, the Mets.

Lou Thornton had even started his career with the Mets, at rookie Kingsport, the same city Eric Thornton would start at in 1989, The Kingsport Times-News wrote.

"People here really liked my brother. I feel like I have to do good. I feel like the crowd expects a lot of me," Eric Thornton told The Times-News at season's start.

Eric Thornton saw at total of 41 games at Kingsport that year. He hit .156 and stole eight bases

He moved to short-season Pittsfield for 1990. He hit .226 there, with 11 stolen bases. That season proved his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,649
Made the Majors:1,250-34.3%
Never Made Majors:2,399-65.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:521
10+ Seasons in the Minors:308

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