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The northern voalavo (Voalavo gymnocaudus) is a rodent found in the highlands of northern Madagascar
first discovered in 1994. It is the type species of the genus Voalavo, and its closest relative is the eastern
voalavo of the Central Highlands. It is found at 1,250 to 1,950 m (4,100 to 6,400 ft) above sea level in
montane wet and dry forests in the northern massifs. It is nocturnal, solitary and terrestrial, but it can climb
and probably eats plant matter. Despite having a small range, the species is classified as being of least
concern because it lacks obvious threats and lives mainly in protected areas. It is a small, mouse-like rodent
with soft, gray fur, only slightly darker above than below. The ears are short and rounded. The long tail
appears mostly naked and lacks a distinct tuft. The skull is delicate, with a long, narrow front part, narrow
space between the eyes, and no development of ridges on the braincase. The molars are relatively highcrowned. It has a body mass of 17 to 25.5 g (0.60 to 0.90 oz)
Thigpen was a three sport star at Aucilla Christian Academy near Monticello, FL. As a member of the
baseball team he played for longtime Aucilla coach, Ray Hughes. A pitcher and shortstop in high school, he
led the Warriors to the 1981 Class A state championship game.
He played two years at Seminole Community College, after which he moved on to pitch and play the
outfield for Mississippi State University and coach Ron Polk. Among his teammates were future majorleaguers Will Clark, Rafael Palmeiro and Jeff Brantley. Thigpen was part of MSU's 1985 College World Series
team, recording a .305 batting average and saving seven games during the season.
Thigpen was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the fourth round of the 1985 amateur draft. He made the
major leagues the next August and moved into the White Sox's closer role. After two straight 30-save
seasons, Thigpen had the best season of his career in 1990, setting the then-major league record of 57
saves (his record was eclipsed by Francisco Rodríguez when he made 62 saves in 2008). He also maintained
a 1.83 ERA and was named to the AL All-Star team. He also blew eight saves that season, including two
three-run leads.
He later began to battle injuries, starting with a back problem developed after the 1990 season, when some
players went on an exhibition tour of Japan. Thigpen's effectiveness waned and he was supplanted in the
closer role by Roberto Hernández.
During the 1993 season, Thigpen was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for José DeLeón, and pitched in the
NLCS and World Series for Philadelphia. The following season, he signed with the Seattle Mariners, who
released him on April 29. He joined the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks and attempted to return to the majors in
1996, only to be derailed by back problems, which ended his career.
Thigpen's 201 career saves rank him 46th on the all-time saves list.