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After high school, Thomas pitched for the College of Emporia, where he led the Fighting Presbies to a combined 21-1 record in two seasons. He was inducted into the school's athletic hall of fame in 2010.

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As Tonganoxie teen, Thomas flourished on baseball diamond

As a young boy in Kansas City, Kan., Phil Thomas learned early that he had a knack for sports. Whether he was on the football field, basketball court or baseball diamond, he could often be found competing against other neighborhood kids.

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