CHICAGO (WLS) — A Chicago native will take the field with the Arizona Diamondbacks Friday night in game one of the MLB World Series.
Outfielder Alek Thomas is a South Side native. He graduated from Mount Carmel High School in 2018, where he was a standout student-athlete.
Thomas was four year starter on the school’s varsity team. He made quite an impression on his coaches at Mt. Carmel.
One former coach, Brian Hurry, said Thomas’ talent was obvious from the start.
“He was like Superman,” Hurry said. “High school players don’t make the kind of plays like he made.”
Thomas has made some huge plays for the Diamondbacks this season as well, hitting several home runs in the playoffs. He’s also an MLB Gold Glove finalist in center field.
Hurry keeps in close touch with Thomas, trading text messages regularly.
Thomas was a three-sport athlete at Mt. Carmel. He actually committed to play football at TCU before being drafted in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Diamondbacks.
Thomas grew up around professional baseball. His father Allen was a strength and conditioning coach for the Chicago White Sox.
The young athlete also made a strong impression off the field.
“He’s a favorite for all the teachers, from his English teacher to his basketball coaches to his football coaches,” Mt. Carmel Assistant Principal Bill Nolan said. “Everyone loves Alek.”
Mt. Carmel has a strong sports tradition, with many alumni going on to play professional sports.
Thomas was also a strong student who chose the school as much for academics as athletics. He also comes back to the school regularly, although his family recently moved from the Chicago area to Arizona.
“As good an athlete, a baseball player as he is, he’s an even better person,” Hurry said. “To us at Mt. Carmel, that’s what matters the most.”
The Texas Rangers are strong favorites to win the World Series, but many in the Mt. Carmel community will be rooting for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Alek Thomas.