Jason Thompson was consistently among the league leaders in walks and on-base percentage, and he became one of the few players with 30-homer seasons in both the AL and NL (31 with the 1977 Tigers, 31 with the 1982 Pirates). He also led each league in total chances at first base (1977 and 1984), though he was never considered exceptional on defense.
Thompson joined Detroit after just 79 minor league games. The powerful lefthander was well suited to Tiger Stadium, and he belted two home runs over its right-field roof in 1977. After hitting 98 HR in four-plus seasons, he was sent to the Angels in May of 1980. He batted .317 for California and was traded to Pittsburgh in a deal that was to have then sent him to the Yankees. But Commissioner Bowie Kuhn nullified the Yankee purchase because the money involved exceeded the cash-purchase limits he was trying to impose. In 1982 Thompson became the third Pirate ever to draw 100 walks and drive in 100 runs in a season. Plagued by injuries in 1984-85, he frustrated Pirate management with his unaggressive hitting and was traded to Montreal in 1986.