Phillies manager Rob Thomson makes MLB history in Toronto

Jun 5, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson (59) against the Los Angeles Angels during the eighth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson (59) against the Los Angeles Angels during the eighth inning at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /
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Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson has made MLB and Canadian history.

Just hours after Philadelphia Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber announced his participation in the upcoming Home Run Derby in Los Angeles, interim manager Rob Thomson also made Major League Baseball headlines — or history, for that matter.

With the Phillies-Blue Jays two-game series getting underway Tuesday evening at the Rogers Centre, Thomson became the first Canadian to manage a major league team in his home country.

There have been seven Canadian managers in MLB history, but none since George Gibson, who last managed in 1934. Since the Blue Jays didn’t play their first season until 1977, no Canadian managed in the Great White North until Thomson on Tuesday.

World Series champion Matt Stairs and Fergie Jenkins — a Hall of Fame pitcher, Cy Young Winner, and three-time All-Star — are among the most notable Canadians who’ve worn a Phillies uniform. Most recently was Nick Pivetta, who appeared in 92 games from 2017-2020 before being dealt to the Boston Red Sox in 2020.

Thomson, a 2019 Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, has gotten off to a strong start to his managerial record — replacing his longtime colleague Joe Girardi in early June. Through 36 games entering Tuesday, Thomson’s team has a .667 winning percentage (24-12 record). He became the first National League skipper in the Modern Era to win 14 of his first 16 games as a big-league manager. Red Sox managers Joe Morgan (1988) and Alex Cora (2018) were the only others to accomplish the feat.

Thomson has been a member of the Phillies coaching staff since December 2017 when he was hired as bench coach. He previously spent 28 years (1990-2017) as a member of the New York Yankees organization, including 10 years on its major league coaching staff as bench coach (2008, 2015-17) and third base coach (2009-14). Before that, he represented his home country in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

This week, he’ll represent them again, at home.

More. The Phillies need to keep Rob Thomson as their manager. light

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