Orioles Executive shares experience

Lee Thomas speaks to a class at Lindenwood University
“Ability can always get you to the top. But character can help you stay there.” Lee Thomas, current assistant general manager for Baltimore Orioles, said that about his career in baseball.
Thomas has experience at almost every level of baseball. He played for six Major League teams from 1961-1968. He has been selected to an All-Star team, and hit over 100 home runs in his career.
After his career as a player, he moved into a front office role. He began with the St. Louis Cardinals and worked his way up to the director of player development. He worked under the Hall of Fame manager Whitey Herzog, and played a key front-office role in the Cardinals success in the 1980s.
In June of 1988, Thomas was hired as the General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. In that role, he signed players such as Curt Shilling and Lenny Dykstra.
Thomas has seen baseball evolve over the past several decades.
“The game hasn’t changed, the people running it have,” said Thomas.
He has also seen the change in how teams are formed. Players are starting to come from the minor leagues instead of teams signing big named players in free agency.
“That’s why you need a good farm director and a good scout director,” said Thomas. “Cause that’s how you build.”
Thomas has also worked for the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles, both as assistant to the General Manager Dan Duquette. Duquette and Thomas have made a lot of good moves together and played a big role in the turnaround of the Baltimore Orioles.
“We just brought up Manny Machado. He turned our team around defensively,” said Thomas. “He was excellent.”
Duquette and Thomas work hand in hand to make moves that will have a positive impact on the team.
“It’s clear that Lee is a trusted friend and advisor to Duquette and they worked together in Boston before,” said Steve Melewski, Baltimore Blogger/Writer. “Lee has a long and impressive resume in the game and is someone I’m sure Duquette can bounce ideas off and get input from often.”
The Orioles turnaround this season was one of the most historic in Major League history. Thomas and Duquette played a major role in making that happen.
“I think the front office played a huge role in turning around the team,” said Manny Flores, avid Orioles fan and St. Charles resident. “The moves they made signing a new manager and players made a huge difference.”
Thomas’s experience as a player and in the front office has given him the tools to be a great asset to any team.
It all goes back to his character that has allowed him to stay at the top for so long.


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