Gorman Thomas did things BIG on the baseball diamond.

He swung big.

He connected big, to the tune of 268 career home runs and league-leading totals of 45 and 39 in 1979 and 1982, respectively.

He missed big, racking up more and 1300 career strikeouts and posting 170 or more in a season twice.

He walked medium, touching 80 freebies per season a few times and stretching to 98 in 1979. You gotta figure, though, if he’d played in a Sabermetrics era, that Thomas would have been big on selectivity, too.

Thomas lost big for a lot of years in Milwaukee to start and end his career, and with the Indians and Mariners in between.

And he won big, too, helping the Brew Crew do the same when they nabbed 95 victories in 1979 and then copped American League East division titles in 1981 (sorta) and 1982. Harvey’s Wallbangers very nearly pulled off a World Series coup that second year, too.

Heck, Thomas even played a big position, roaming center field for the Brewers for much of his career. That information might qualify as a big surprise, considering middle outfielders don’t generally fall into the lumbering slugger mold that seems to be how most fans (including me) remember the one-time All-Star (1981).

And, of course, you can’t think of Gorman Thomas without imaging that polish sausage of a mustache he wore draped over his upper lip. It was … big.

Given all that, isn’t it fitting that Thomas landed on a BIG baseball card just as he was rounding out his career in the summer of 1986?

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That year, the Mariners released the slugger in late June, and his Brewers swooped in to sign him in July. He’d manage 16 homers between the two clubs as a designated hitter, though his .187 combined batting average an 105 Ks in 101 games undoubtedly made retiring at age 35 seem like a logical next move.

It was the one he took, too.

But not before he landed on all the year’s baseball cards, as a member of the Seattle Mariners, mostly.

And, on the strength of his 32 dingers in 1985, Thomas even made his way into some “special” sets, with limited checklists. One of those was the third straight rendition of Topps Super, which showcased 60 players on pasteboards that were identical to their base Topps cards, but gargantuan in comparison — while standard baseball cards check in at 2 1/2″ X 3 1/2″, the Supers stretch to a whopping 4 7/8″ X 6 7/8″.

BIG, in other words.

Slightly different than the base set, too, if you flipped the cards over.

See, the Super card is so big that the words extend down into the bottom border: “1985 Mariners Leader in HR.”

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All in all, it was a big cardboard finale for a dude who had a propensity for big.

And, while it’s true that Thomas appeared on some 1987 cards and looked right at home in his Brewers uniform one last time, they feel somehow inconsequential in comparison to what came before.

They’re just not very … well … BIG.

Hobby Hots

That 1982 Brewers team has taken on nearly mythical status among fans of all teams, and their memorabilia always makes for some stunning eye candy. Take a look at this eBay listing, for example …

That’s a team-signed helmet from that fabled Crew, and it shines like the star on your Christmas tree.

Check out the full listing on eBay here (affiliate link).

1986 Topps Baseball Cards Lot

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