A natural wit and self-deprecating bench-jockey, Thomas came up with the Tigers,
for whom he played a career-high 105 games in 1964, and went to Boston in a 1965
trade for pitcher Bill Monbouquette. When he didn't pan out as the Red Sox centerfielder,
he became their willing handyman, even catching a few games. Although he played sparingly,
the Red Sox liked his bat off the bench and his clowning, energetic attitude, and
eventually made him a player-coach.