Frank Thomas hung up the spikes today, after his VERY hall of fame worthy 19 year career. He was easily one of the most dominating hitters while I was growing up, and I’m sure I still have a few of his rookie cards laying around in some boxes. I’m not sure if his trade mark will be his large set figure or his big smile. Admittedly I wasn’t a White Sox fan, but always enjoyed watching Frank battle at the plate as he never took a pitch off, and was great at figuring out where pitchers were trying to attack him. He never said the word “retire” in his statement, but did say things like “life goes on”, and “I’m done.” He feels he can still play, but seeing friends like Jermaine Dye struggling to get a contract agreement, he felt his time was probably up.
He compiled some Hall of Fame worthy stats over his career; .301 batting average, .419 OBP, 521 home runs, and 1,704 RBI’s. He walked more than he struck out. He won back to back MVP’s in 1993 and 1994. He won a batting title in 1997 (.347). His numbers through the 90’s are reminiscent to what Pujols has been doing over the past decade. Big Frank is number one in twelve of the all-time categories for the White Sox, and will surely be wearing their cap when he is enshrined into the HOF.
He wasn’t on the A’s for long, but I’m grateful for him for single handedly helping the A’s get to the ALCS in 2006. He hit .270 with 39 HR’s, and 114 RBI’s that year, and it was his last year as a true star at 37 years young. He’s a guy with no ties to steroids, and it’s refreshing this day in age to assume a great player didn’t use PED’s especially since his double 0 decade was filled with injuries. It makes me that much more sure he didn’t use PED’s, because he never came back quickly from those injuries.