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Sunday, July 30, 2023

Kelvin Thomas filled in at pitcher at Peninsula; Saw four seasons, made high-A

Kelvin Thomas 1990 Peninsula Pilots card

Kelvin Thomas wasn't normally a pitcher for his high-A Peninsula Pilots. But, in May 1991, he was when they needed one, The Newport News Daily Press wrote.

The outfielder responded that day by pitching the bottom of the ninth and setting down all three hitters faced, The Daily Press wrote.

"At that point we had run out of pitchers. We didn't want to use any more of the pitchers' arms," Thomas told The Daily Press. "We just have to come out and go after them tomorrow. That's all we can do, is come back at them."

For Thomas, his own time in the pros was about to run out. That season marked his fourth as a pro and also his last. He topped out there at high-A.

Thomas' career began in 1988, taken by the Mariners in the sixth round of the draft out of M.B. Smiley High School in Houston.

Thomas was taken by the Mariners in the same draft as they took his twin brother Delvin Thomas and the two would go on to have similar careers. The two even had been bound for the same college, the University of Arkansas, to play football before they turned to the Mariners and baseball.

Kelvin Thomas started, along with his brother, in the rookie Arizona League. He hit .248 in 33 games. He then moved to single-A Wausau and returned to the Arizona League. He hit .242 on the year in 61 games. He also hit an inside-the-park home run.

For 1990, he arrived at high-A Peninsula. He saw 104 games and hit .194. He went 2 for 3 in an April game.

He returned to Peninsula to start 1990. He saw 51 games and hit .161. He then moved to independent short-season Erie. He went .264 there in 70 games to end his career.

Kelvin Thomas 1990 Peninsula Pilots card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,196
Made the Majors:1,378-32.8%
Never Made Majors:2,818-67.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:560
10+ Seasons in the Minors:344

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