A Dozen Things You Should Know About Jules Thomas

Jules Thomas (picture from Seamheads)

Here’s a brief look at one of the players on my fantasy league team:

1. Julian Thomas was born in December, 1886 in Powhatan County, Virginia, which is near Richmond. In the Wikipedia page describing the county Thomas is not listed as one of the notable people from the county (John Singleton Mosby of “Gray Ghost” fame is).

2. There is confusion from the beginning of his career. The BaseballReference.com Bullpen says he began play in the Negro Leagues in 1909, Seamheads indicates he began play in 1908. Both agree he started his career with the Brooklyn Royal Giants.

3. Unlike a lot of Negro League stalwarts who played a number of different positions, Thomas was almost strictly an outfielder (Seamheads gives him 10 total games n the infield).

4. In 1912, he led the Negro League teams with three home runs. This is prior to the more formally established Negro Leagues of the 1920s, so the teams were much more loosely organized and barnstormed more, making it difficult to determine any statistics across teams. Seamheads indicates he had five home runs.

5. In 1914 he made is first foray into Cuba playing center field for the New York Lincoln Stars (not the Lincoln Giants). He spent four different seasons in the Cuban winter league and did poorly each year.

6. Between 1916 and 1922 he averaged a triple slash line of .358/.416/.493/.909. He turned 30 in 1916, so this line covers most of his 30s. This line also covers about 150 total documented games. His OPS+ for the period is 169.

7. With the formation of the Negro National League in 1920 and the Eastern Colored League a couple of years later, a more formalized schedule created more “league” games (cutting down on the “barnstorming” games). By this point Thomas was in his middle thirties, but still in demand. The Lincoln Giants (now Thomas’ team) joined the Eastern Colored League in 1923. Thomas hit .271 at age 36 in his first year with the ECL.

8. In 1925 he became player-manager of the Lincolns. The team went 7-39 and finished last. He was let go as the manager.

9. He spent 1926 back with the Brooklyn Royal Giants, then was with the Negro minor league Pennsylvania Red Caps of New York (which had more to do with Penn Station in New York than with the state of Pennsylvania).

10. There is debate about his final year in the Negro League. Seamheads shows 1926 as his last season, while BaseballReference’s Bullpen indicates he played with the Lincoln Giants in 1928.

11. For his career, Seamheads extrapolated his statistics over a 162 game season. They show him with a triple slash line of .310/.362/.444/.806 with an OPS+ of 138. He averages 196 hits, 99 runs scored, 115 RBIs, and 10 home runs, with an average of 4.4 WAR.

12. Jules Thomas died 10 December 1943 in New York.

2 Responses to “A Dozen Things You Should Know About Jules Thomas”

  1. Miller Says:

    I really enjoy these posts. Another impressive entry in this series.

    For what it’s worth, my partner over at the Hall of Miller and Eric translates Thomas’ numbers to 48.6 WAR, which is quite similar to Hall of Famer Louis Santop. Of course, it’s also in nearly twice as many trips to the plate. In terms of WAA, he’s a bit south of Jim Gilliam.

    • verdun2 Says:

      Didn’t have an email for you so I stuck this here. Looking over Eric’s Negro League info that I downloaded, I didn’t note Frank Warfield at 2nd base. Did I merely overlook him?

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