On the latest edition of the Cubs On Tap podcast, the name Thomas Diamond was brought up in the conversation. What happened to him?
Welcome to a new edition of Where Are They Now.
When the COVID-19 pandemic took over the nation, I began writing about former Cubs as a way to fill the no-sports void. The Where Are They Now article series encompasses stories about those players, memories from their time on the North Side, and what they’re up to now (if that information is available). With the offseason underway, I figured I’d bring them back. If you missed last week's edition on Tony Campana, be sure to check it out.
No, I'm not searching for Thomas Ian Nicholas, YouTube. I'm searching for Chicago Cubs legend Thomas Diamond.
When you search Diamond on YouTube, a lot of what you get is the adult character version of Rookie Of The Year's Henry Rowengartner, 11-year-old Diamond minor league videos, and an assortment of Rob Thomas music videos.
But where is Diamond now? What has he been up to since his memorable start in which he struck out ten Milwaukee Brewers?
In 2017, he was inducted into the infamous Archbishop Rummel Hall of Fame. I'm sure his high school is very proud to have a former Major League pitcher get in the hall.
Diamond's Background: Rangers
The righty was a competitor who made it up the Rangers minor league system quickly by dominating batters in the Northwest and Midwest leagues in 2004.
According to his Wikipedia page, Diamond almost fought an entire Oakland Athletics minor league team because they laughed at him during an Instructional League game where he tripped and fell on the mound while attempting a pickoff move.
He then proceeded to threaten them with fastballs to the head if they kept laughing. He sounds like a pleasant fella at parties.
I have not been able to find video footage online. If anyone somehow stumbles across it, please send me a Twitter DM (@CodyOnTap). I'd love to see this scenario play out for my own pleasure.
In 2005, Diamond was named the Rangers' Nolan Ryan Minor League Pitcher of the Year award winner and became a Futures Game selection. Baseball America ranked him the third-best prospect in the Rangers farm system and at one point No. 52 in all of baseball.
After he led the Texas League in strikeouts in 2006, the injury bug hit him in Spring Training ahead of the 2007 season, resulting in Tommy John surgery.
Diamond's Background: Cubs
Diamond was designated for assignment by the Rangers in September of 2009. The Cubs selected him off waivers.
He made his comeback to promise in 2010 at Triple-A Iowa, dominating the Pacific Coast League. In 21 starts, Diamond posted a 3.16 ERA with a 1.22 WHIP and 8.6 K/9.
He made the most of his Major League debut on August 3rd, 2010, pitching six innings and ringing up ten Brewers. It was the highest strikeout total for a Cubs pitcher making their Major League debut since Mark Prior. To this day, they both sit tied for the franchise record.
Diamond landed his first and only Major League win as a pitcher in relief on September 1st in a Cubs 5-3 victory.
He pitched 29 innings for the Cubs, finishing with a 1-3 record and 6.83 ERA in 16 appearances, including three starts.
He never recorded a hit, but in eight career plate appearances, Diamond found a way to work one walk, which led to his one run scored. Diamond finished his career 0-for-7 with six strikeouts. He made one moment count, however. He has more major league walks than I do.
Diamond was released by the Cubs in June of 2011 after struggling back in Triple-A. He signed with the Twins shortly after. He never pitched in the majors again.
What is He Doing Now?
There is no telling what Diamond is up to now. He's really good at staying off the grid. My guess is he's back near his hometown of Metairie, Louisiana with his wife and son. But no matter where he is location-wise or what he's doing in 2020, his name still sits atop a Cubs pitching leaderboard and within the Archbishop Rummel High School Hall of Fame.
If you have a Cubs player from the past in mind and want to know more about them, tweet it @CodyOnTap on Twitter.