Former Mariners pitcher Roy Thomas throws out 1st Pitch Tomorrow
Former Mariners pitcher Roy Thomas, who had an eight-year Major League career with the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals and Seattle Mariners, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Tuesday’s game against the Texas Rangers, part of the Mariners season-long celebration of the franchise’s 35th Anniversary.
Thomas, who had a lifetime 20-11 record, pitched for the Mariners from 1983-1985 and again in 1987. He retired after the 1987 season.
Since them, Thomas worked on his college degree, and an advanced degree, and for the past 10 years has been a middle school science and math teacher in the Federal Way School District.
Thomas tapped the MLB program that pays for a college education for any player who is signed. He took classes in the offseason, when he wasn’t playing winter ball. Thomas finished up his undergraduate degree at UW-Bothell in 1991, about 20-years after he started. He received his master’s in teaching certification a few years later.
In addition to teaching, Thomas also coaches basketball and J.V. baseball. Thomas says over the years, his players have figured out he was a Major Leaguer. “Some of them Googled me. Some of them are really interested and they appreciate my experience,” said Thomas.
For the last five years, Thomas has taught and coached at Illahee Middle School in Federal Way. Thomas says “teaching is the most difficult job I have ever had. Playing wasn’t a job.” Thomas was also an administrator for one of his parent’s adult care homes in California for two years, a job he describes as 24 hours a day, seven days a week. But “teaching work tops them both.”
At the end of the school year, he’ll be moving to Beaverton. He and his wife bought a home there, where she’s working for Intel. For now, Thomas is commuting to Oregon on weekends and staying with the Kwan family, longtime friends, in Bellevue. His future in Oregon could include a career change, but Thomas says he’s not sure what that might be. He says “I think I will look for a job maybe where I don’t have to do so much homework.”
Thomas told his players last week that he was going to be throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Safeco Field and took some practice throws. Thomas will miss his J.V. baseball game on Tuesday for the honor.