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Florida Hall of Famer Leaves for Higher Grounds

 Mava Lee (Tommy) Thomas (9/01/1929-8/6/2013) 

Not many people would recognize the name Mava Lee Thomas, but “Tommy” Thomas was an Ocala, Florida icon whose professional baseball exploits and lasting legacy are well recognized.

Mava Lee Thomas,had Alzheimer's disease and died at the age of 83. A native of Marion County, Thomas got her baseball skills from her father, Herb Thomas, who played with the Boston Braves and New York Giants in the 1920s. Herb taught his daughter the finer points of the game and, after she graduated from Ocala High School in 1949, Tommy, as she was known, went off to Fort Wayne, Ind., to play for the “Daisies” of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.

She was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown (as part of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League memorial). She was a switch-hitter and played the hot corner and catcher for the Daisies in 1951.

 Tommy played only a short time with Ft Wayne, then enlisted in the Navy and played softball and basketball in intramural leagues. The Navy took the state championship for softball the years she played. After discharge in 1953, Thomas also played two years with the Hagerstown (Md.) Mollys fast pitch baseball team. She also earned a degree in recreation from the University of Florida and dedicated the rest of her life to recreation.

Bill Burton husband to Tommy's niece states," Tommy and her father are the only father/daughter combination to be in the Florida Baseball Hall of Fame.She was gifted athlete and a wonderful person."
The AAGPBL-PA extend their sympathies to all the family members, friends. We are deeply saddened by the lose of another of our beloved teammates.

.  Edited from: Ocal Star BannerBy Carlos E. Medina, CorrespondentPublished: Wednesday, August 7, 2013.

Posted on Monday, August 12, 2013

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