Thon returned in time to start the 1985 season for the Astros. Unfortunately, the damage done to his eye had really affected his ability to see. He started the first 9 games of the season, but was benched in favor of Craig Reynolds after hitting just .211. He would spend the next several seasons as a role player, including the 1986 ALCS against the Mets. He was given the Tony Conigliaro Award, fitting as they were both struck in the eye, for his determination and comeback. This was in 1991, where he had reestablished himself as an everyday player. After being granted free agency after the 1987 season, Thon signed with the San Diego Padres and was a backup infielder before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies.
In 1989, he won the job as the Phillies starting SS, beating out incumbent Steve Jeltz, who had struggled at the plate in 1988. Thon played in 136 games that season, the most since his last pre- eye injury season of 1982, hitting ,271, 15, 60 and remained the team's starting SS through the 1991 season. He spent the 1992 season with the Texas Rangers before finishing off his career a year later in Milwaukee.
Thon was born in Indiana, but for the rest of his childhood grew up in Puerto Rico. In fact, during the late 1970s and 1980s, Dickie played in the Puerto Rican Winter League, even when he was a steady major leaguer. Thon was a third generation ballplayer- his father, Freddie Thon Jr signed a major league contract but was injured before the start of spring training and his grandfather Freddie Thon, Sr, who played and managed in the Puerto Rican Leagues around World War II.
Like Tony C, who knows what type of player Dickie Thon could have been had he not been struck by that pitch. He seemed as if he was on the rise and had been one of the top SSs in the NL. He certainly had the rare combination of offense and defense that would have been interesting to see play out.