Bourgo: Eric Thames a hit on and off the field in South Korean baseball

From SABR member Patrick Bourgo at the Korea Times on July 9, 2015:

Ever since he debuted in the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) last year, NC Dinos first baseman Eric Thames has been making his mark both on and off the field.

Not only has he put up huge numbers, in line to start in his first KBO All-Star game, he has also forged a deep connection with the local fan base ― a rare accomplishment among foreign players in the league.

He cannot walk even a few meters without being asked to sign an autograph or pose for a photo, requests to which he graciously obliges.

However, Thames’ life today is a stark contrast to that a few years ago, when he was still trying to make a name for himself with the Toronto Blue Jays in the Major League Baseball (MLB). He spent much of his time shuffling between the minors and big leagues and ultimately spent the entire 2013 season in Triple-A.

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Originally published: July 9, 2015. Last Updated: July 9, 2015.