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Beloved Former MLB Executive Died On Wednesday

A general view of the Philadelphia Phillies stadium.

PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 18: A general view of Citizens Bank Park as the Philadelphia Phillies take on the Montreal Expos on April 18, 2004 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Expos 5-4. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Lee Thomas, a former MLB player and executive who spent nine years as the Philadelphia Phillies general manager, passed away Wednesday. He was 86 years old.

Thomas constructed the Phillies roster that won the 1993 National League pennant following a 97-win season. That success, which came in the same year he drafted future All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen, led to him receiving Sporting News Executive of the Year honors.

"Lee was a great man and will be missed incredibly,” Phillies Chairman Emeritus Bill Giles said, per the team's obituary. “I will never forget all the fun we had watching the 1993 Phillies National League championship team that he put together. Through his leadership, Lee has left an indelible mark on Phillies history. My love goes out to his wife Susie and his entire family."

Thomas previously played for six different teams over an eight-season playing career from 1961 to 1968, during which he compiled 847 hits. He earned an All-Star nod in 1962 before finishing with a career-high 26 home runs and 104 RBI.

After concluding his playing career, Thomas worked as a minor league bullpen coach and manager for the St. Louis Cardinals. He later became the organization's director of player development in 1980, overseeing three World Series appearances and one championship before joining Philadelphia's front office in 1988.

The Cardinals expressed their condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues on Twitter. 

Thomas last worked as a special assistant for the Baltimore Orioles from 2011 to 2018. He was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Thomas is survived by his wife, Susie, and four sons. Our thoughts go out to them for their loss.