There are a lot of things that Tim Thoman is proud of during his highly acclaimed playing career in the Central League.
One of the top 10 players in league history in nearly every offensive statistical category, Thoman did a lot over his three-plus decades as a player. So it wasn’t much of a shock when the longtime standout catcher/infielder found out he would be inducted as part of the 2017 class of the Central League Hall of Fame.
Joining Thoman during Saturday’s induction will be Pleasureville manager Rex Meyer, former Mount Wolf star Jeff Kemper and Jon Benchich, who played 15 seasons in the league with four teams.
For his 32-year career, Thoman ranks with the league’s greats. He’s third in career games played (922), fifth in runs scored (577), second in RBIs (663), sixth in home runs (100), fourth in doubles (172), fifth in hits (937) and 20th in batting average (.338).
Despite all of those impressive numbers, one aspect of his career that isn’t measured by statistics is the thing that the Stoverstown manager is most proud of.
“The fact that when I get that plaque on Saturday that it will only have one team on it — Stoverstown,” Thoman said.
A long run: Thoman’s playing days with the Tigers spans five different decades. He started with the club back in 1979 as a 15-year-old catcher before finally ending his playing days in 2011. Since then, he’s been the driving force behind a Stoverstown organization that captured both the Central League and Tom Kerrigan Colonial York tournaments this past summer.
Stoverstown’s remarkable run this summer earned him the Central League’s Manager of the Year award.
“It’s been great transitioning from being a player into managing,” said Thoman, who took over the reins at Stoverstown from another Central League Hall of Famer in Marlyn "Curly" Holtzapple. “I really enjoy it, but it’s challenging.”
Catching roots helped him as manager: Thoman credits his playing days as a catcher for his success in the dugout managing the Tigers.
“A lot of the good managers in Major League Baseball were former catchers,” he said. “And I think that’s attributed to kind of being the leader on the field when you’re playing. When you take over managing, you see things from a similar perspective and sometimes that helps you pick up on stuff.”
For all of the personal accolades Thoman has accumulated, the Stoverstown great will most remember the people he’s played with and against.
“The biggest thing that I’ve gotten out of the Central League is the camaraderie and friendships I’ve made over all these years,” Thoman said. “The stats can be whatever they are, but the thing that I will remember for the rest of the my life is all of the good friends I’ve developed over the years. And it’s helped me out off the field in business to have these connections.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.