Frank “Big Hurt” Thomas announced on Friday that his career has come to an end. Thomas played 19 Big League seasons, 16 of which were with the Chicago White Sox. He hit 521 home runs, good for 18th all-time. With one more long-ball he would have passed both Ted Williams and Willie McCovey. Not only did he hit home runs, he had an On Base Percentage of .417(20th all-time). He won 2 American League MVP honors and was elected to the all-star team 5 times. He also won the silver slugger award 4 times. Thomas could get it done at the plate and was one of the best hitters of all time.
The only question as to whether or not Thomas will make the Hall of Fame is around the fact that he played so many games as the DH. This may be a legitimate question if he was strictly a DH, however he played nearly half (45% to be exact) of his games at 1st base. No one who ranks so high on the list of best hitters in the history of the game should be denied this honor because they did not play the field every day. Though he never won a gold glove, he was a respectable first baseman posting a .991 fielding percentage.
On top of all of these numbers, one must also remember that he played in the heart of the steroid era. The difference between Thomas and other players from this era is that there are no whispers of Thomas using steroids. He has been known as one of the biggest advocators among MLB players to baseball of steroids. Another reason why he is believed to be clean is because unlike several players throughout his career, he stayed close to the same size from start to finish. His rookie card displayed a weight of 257 while during his last season he is recorded as weighing 270. This cannot be said for Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens.
On August 29th, before a game against the New York Yankees at U.S. Cellular Field, the White Sox will retire his number 35 jersey. That as well as electing him into the Hall of Fame is the right way to reward Frank Thomas for a great career.