Phillies manager Rob Thomson’s Ontario hometown gearing up for World Series celebration


In a sport like baseball that has been round for greater than hundred years, it’s uncommon for one thing to occur for the primary time. But on Thursday, Rob Thomson, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, will write his personal web page within the baseball historical past books when he turns into the primary Canadian to guide a crew to the World Series. 

In typical low-key Thomson trend, he’s downplaying the historic achievement.

“There’s been so many firsts this 12 months I actually have not had time to essentially give it some thought. I’m Canadian. I dwell there within the offseason,” Thomson instructed CBC. “I really like our nation and what we’re all about, however I actually have not considered it in that method as the primary Canadian to ever handle the World Series.

“I’m simply actually completely satisfied to handle within the World Series.”

Thomson’s Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres within the National League Championship Series to earn their spot within the Fall Classic. They face the American League champion Houston Astros with Game 1 scheduled for Friday.

WATCH l Canadian-born Phillies manager says crew is ‘able to go’ forward of World Series:

Canadian-born MLB manager ‘excited’ for World Series

Canadian-born Philadelphia Phillies manager Rob Thomson says his crew is ‘able to go’ as they face Houston Astros on Friday night time to start the World Series.

Thompson won’t be celebrating his achievement however it’s important, says Scott Crawford, the director of operations on the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the place Thomson is a member.

“It reveals that Canadians can deal with the massive job. We know simply as a lot about baseball and we’re simply nearly as good at baseball as each different nation,” Crawford stated. “With Rob on the massive display screen for the World Series it simply reveals that if Rob can do it, you recognize, from a small city in southern Ontario, then anybody can do it in Canada.”

Thomson has traveled many locations on his decades-long baseball journey, however has at all times remained near the small city during which he grew up. He was born in Sarnia, Ont., however house was simply down the freeway in Corunna, a small city with a inhabitants of about 2,000 folks.

And because the 59-year-old steps on to baseball’s greatest stage, lots of the city’s residents will probably be intently watching and celebrating the person they have recognized since he was just a little boy.

At Antonio’s Pizza, alongside the city’s foremost strip, the massive register entrance of the restaurant needs Thompson and his Phillies good luck. Inside, employees is decked out in Phillies gear, proudly selling the Rob Thomson World Series Special. It features a pitcher of beer and a Philly pizza that is modelled after the well-known Philly cheesesteak.

The native pizza place provides finest needs to Thomson’s Phillies. (Simon Dingley/CBC)
Ann Maitland serves up a Rob Thomson World Series Special at Antonio’s Pizza in Corruna, Ont. (Simon Dingley/CBC)

“I feel it is superior. I feel it says lots for an individual to return from a small city and begin off on only a small baseball area and work his method up to the World Series. It’s wonderful,” stated Ann Maitland, one of many restaurant’s wait employees.

Rick Corner can be feeling fairly proud.

“He was the bat boy on loads of the [local] groups,” remembers Corner, a long-time household good friend of the Thomsons who spent many hours taking part in baseball with and towards the household.

“They have been a baseball diehard household, eat, sleep, drink, baseball, their complete lives sort of factor,” Corner stated. “Yeah, I assume the potential was there (to guide a crew to the World Series), however Corunna was a small 2,000-person group. I do not assume anyone may envision that.”

As a participant, Thomson was adequate to play faculty baseball on the University of Kansas and was finally drafted by the Detroit Tigers. But after a number of years within the Tigers minor-league system, he realized his future in baseball was in teaching. 

For the previous 30 years he has coached within the Detroit, New York Yankees and Philadelphia organizations. He lastly bought a Major League head-coaching job this 12 months when the Phillies fired his predecessor, Joe Girardi, a number of months into the season.

“[Thomson] at all times wished to be a manager. He did not get the chance with the Yankees, nevertheless it’s labored out nice for him in Philly and the gamers simply love him,” Corner stated. “He is a really humble particular person. Nothing is about Robbie Thomson. He is in regards to the crew, he is about supporting the fellows.”

Rob Thomson, centre, celebrates with the trophy after successful the NL Championship Series the San Diego Padres. (Associated Press)

Corner has stayed in contact with Thomson through the years, most not too long ago visiting him in Philadelphia simply after Thomson took over as a manager. He has additionally been instrumental in placing collectively an exhibit on the Moore Museum close to Corunna that pays tribute to Thomson’s baseball profession.

“I met with Robbie at his house to ask him his ideas. He says I assist you 100 per cent, no matter you wish to do there. So on the museum itself, I attempted to construct a chronological show,” Corner stated.

The exhibit options gadgets, footage and uniforms from when Thomson performed as a toddler in Corunna all the best way up till right now. It contains jerseys from his time at Kansas University and his days with the Tigers and his jersey from the 1984 Canadian Olympic crew, of which Thomson was a member.

“Rob gave me a few Yankees jerseys from when he was there and a few Phillies jerseys. There are so many footage and tales on show. I’m very proud,” Corner stated.

Corner stated he hopes Thomson’s emergence on baseball’s greatest stage will lead many to the museum to see the place all of it started for his lifelong good friend. But it is about greater than that.

“If I can encourage one little child that sees that show to see that this man got here from a 2,000-person group as a bat boy and he made it proper to the main leagues. If that may encourage one little child, then I’ve met my purpose,” Corner stated.


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