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Sunday, June 19, 2022

Thayer Swain got playing time, swing bat well at single-A; Saw three seasons, made high-A

Thayer Swain notched the game-winners in consecutive games for single-A Gastonia in 1989, The Charlotte Observer wrote.

Swain, an injury fill-in, was just happy to be playing, he told The Observer.

"I'm playing every day and I'm swinging the bat real well," Swain told The Observer after that second game-winner. "You can't ask for much more."

Swain picked up those game-winners in his second pro season. He saw just one more. He topped out at high-A.

Swain's career began in 1988, taken by the Rangers in the 33rd round of the previous year's draft out of San Jacinto Junior College. 

He went to San Jacinto out of Willowridge High in Texas. There, he made the school's first Wall of Honor class in 2006.

At San Jacinto, Swain picked up 104 hits in 1988, still a school record in 2022. He also hit 24 home runs and scored 77 times that year, both still good for third best.

Swain started with the Rangers at rookie Butte. He hit .293 in 52 games. He also hit seven home runs and stole 18 bases. That June, Swain picked up six hits in his first two games, The Montana Standard wrote.

"I'm just trying to adjust to a wooden bat," Swain told The Standard then, "and I'm swinging the bat pretty good and making good contact."

Swain made single-A Gastonia for 1989. He hit .297 over 60 games. That September, he picked up a spectacular run-saving outfield catch, The Observer wrote.

"It got everybody real fired up in the dugout," Swain told The Observer after the comeback win.

Swain moved to high-A Port Charlotte for 1990. He got into 105 games there and hit .245. That season proved his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,945
Made the Majors:1,316-33.4%
Never Made Majors:2,629-66.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:537
10+ Seasons in the Minors:328

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