Phillies sign Rob Thomson to two-year contract

October 10th, 2022

The Phillies have signed manager Rob Thomson to a two-year contract for the 2023 and 2024 seasons, President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski announced today. Thomson, the 56th manager in Phillies history, has been with the club since Dec. 5, 2017, when he was first hired as bench coach.

Thomson, 59, took over a Phillies club that was 22-29 (.431 winning percentage) entering play on June 3 and guided them to a 65-46 record (.586 winning percentage) and the franchise’s first postseason berth since 2011.  Thomson became only the fourth manager in major league history to take over a team at least seven games under .500 and lead them to the postseason as he joined Dick Howser (1981 with the Royals), Cito Gaston (1989 with the Blue Jays) and Jim Tracy (2009 with the Rockies).

From June 3 through Oct. 5 with Thomson as manager, the Phillies went 20-11-4 in series play.  Prior to Thomson, from April 8 through June 1, the Phillies went 4-11-1 in series play.

“I could not be prouder of the group of players, coaches and staff that have made this all possible,” said Thomson. “This is a great group, one that has shown resiliency and overcome adversity all season to get us where we are today. I am honored and humbled to continue as manager of this club.”

“As time progressed, it became apparent that Rob was the right person to lead this team and our club’s on-field performance over the course of the season certainly reinforced that,” said Dombrowski. “His calm demeanor and ability to communicate with players and staff has greatly benefitted the Phillies and we are excited to formally name him our manager going forward. While a great deal of credit for the turnaround of our season goes to the players, Rob’s leadership style has also made a significant impact.”

Of all managers in Phillies history to begin their managerial career in Philadelphia, Thomson’s 61 wins were the most through 100 games. Dallas Green, who went 57-43 from Aug. 31, 1979 through July 1, 1980, is tied with Bill Shettsline, who also went 57-43 from June 18, 1898 through Oct. 12, 1898, for second place behind Thomson. Among all managers through their first 100 games with the Phillies, Thomson’s 61 wins rank second behind only Steve O’Neill, who went 66-34 from June 28, 1952-April 25, 1953 (O’Neill managed CLE, DET & BOS before the Phillies).

Thomson, born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, became the first Canadian-born manager to ever manage a game in his home country on July 12 in Toronto. Inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019, he is only the seventh manager born in Canada to guide a major league club and the first since 1934. He is joined by Arthur Irwin, who managed five clubs (1889-99), including the Phillies from 1894-95, Bob Addy (1877), Bill Watkins (1884-99), George Wood (1891), Fred Lake (1908-10) and George Gibson (1920-34).

Thomson became the first Canadian-born manager to ever manage in the postseason in the Phillies’ win on Oct. 7 against the Cardinals.

Prior to joining the Phillies, Thomson spent 28 years as a member of the New York Yankees organization (1990-2017), including 10 seasons on the major league coaching staff as bench coach (2008, 2015-17) and third base coach (2009-14). A former catcher, Thomson played four minor league seasons in the Detroit Tigers farm system from 1985-88. Thomson is a proud alumnus of the University of Kansas.