I’ll keep this one relatively brief, because the relationship between affiliated ball and independent ball…yeah, not as great as you may think.
But, I’m not doing my job if I don’t pass along that Kevin Thompson, the Thunder’s all-time stolen base king with 101 steals, has signed to play with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League.
Thompson, now 29 years old, played parts of the 2003, 2004 and 2005 seasons at Waterfront Park. Over the course of the following two seasons, he’d appear in 32 games in Yankee pinstripes before being claimed by the Oakland Athletics on waivers a few days into September of 2007.
He appeared in nine games for them, and then spent all of 2008 playing in Triple-A Indianapolis as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system.
He joins Oneli Perez (’08) and Shawn Chacon (’06-rehab) as Thunder alums now playing for the Bears.
Little known Thompson fact: He actually appeared in Trenton in 2006, working out alongside then-teammate Miguel Cairo during the postseason when Hideki Matsui rehabbed with the club. I actually managed to sneak a Thompson quote into my not-so-good article I did on Matsui a few years back for the Democrat.
Both Cairo and Thompson were there just to work out, however…they did not play, and there were never any intentions for them to do so.
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com