The Southern Maryland Blue Crabs announced the re-signing of utility player, Tony Thomas, and infielder, Dean Green on Thursday afternoon.
Thomas has played in Southern Maryland just one season, but is already a fan favorite. Thomas became a viral sensation on July 13th, 2019, when he became the first player in professional history to steal first base, thanks to the MLB/ALPB rule changes. The video of Thomas swept the nation on social media, local cable channels, and national outlets such as ESPN, Fox News, and many more. On August 5th, 2019, upon request, Thomas donated his cleats from the steal of first base to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York.
Prior to Thomas’s steal of first base, he held a .230 batting average over 65 games. After Thomas’s dozens of interviews and millions of views across the world, his play on the field improved, as he went on to hit for a .302 batting average with nine home runs 38 RBI in the final 70 games of the season. The team as a whole improved their winning percentage significantly after Thomas stole first base as well. Thomas said his offensive improvement was also due to “Just talking hitting in the clubhouse, and adding Dean Green was a huge boost for us, the guy is a great hitter,” Thomas said in a July interview.
Dean Green’s mid-season signing with the Blue Crabs dramatically improved team’s winning percentage in 2019. The left-handed power hitter posted a .486 batting average through his first ten games with the team, and the Blue Crabs won seven out of those ten games. Green would only play 36 games after suffering a season-ending injury.
“Mean Dean Green” who is loved by everyone whom he was crossed paths with in the Blue Crabs organization sparked the team’s most successful stint of the 2019 season, he hit .304 in his time in Southern Maryland, and the team’s mathematic probability of a playoff run was never higher than it was during Green’s tenure. This is not new territory for Green who has excelled at the plate at every stage of his professional career. In his six seasons of affiliated baseball he held a cumulative .306 batting average with a .850 OPS over nearly 600 games.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to return to the Blue Crabs for the 2020 season. I’m looking forward to working with our first class staff again and bringing passionate, championship quality baseball back to the Blue Crabs fans,” said Green.