5 Reasons Why Frank Thomas Belongs In MLB Hall Of Fame
Why Frank Thomas Belongs in the MLB Hall of Fame
The Hall of Fame class of 2014 is certainly well deserving of the honors. After no eligible candidates received enough votes last year, three incoming members will be enshrined this year. In addition to managers Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa, Cooperstown will welcome pitchers Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and power-hitting slugger Frank Thomas.
Thomas played 19 seasons in the big leagues for the Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays and the Chicago White Sox, and he will be inducted wearing a White Sox cap. Playing in Chicago for 16 seasons, he was one of the best hitters of his era, and the White Sox recognized that by retiring his number. Thomas gets the call to the hall as the first predominate designated hitter. He will most certainly become a trailblazer for guys like David Ortiz in the future.
Debuting in 1990, the "Big Hurt" never competed in a World Series, but he still managed to have a very decorated career. Thomas finished with a lifetime batting average over .300 and is a member of the 500 home run club. Being able to watch him play everyday in Chicago, Thomas was one of the most popular players in the city. He went about his business as a professional baseball player the right way both on and off the field.
It is easy to see why Thomas got the nickname "Big Hurt," because he bashed baseballs as good as anyone. In his prime, he was one of the most feared hitters stepping into the batter's box. Aside from having an awesome nickname, here are five reasons why Thomas deserves the trip to Cooperstown.
5. Great Character Guy
If you follow Thomas, you know the guy has one of the biggest and most contagious smiles out there. He was a leader on the field, and a great ambassador off the field even now after his playing days. In a recent interview, Thomas stated that "he gave everything he had and then some when playing," and that was certainly evident.
4. Transcending Player
Thomas is the first primary DH to be voted into the Hall of Fame. While he did play some first base in his day, Thomas became the standard for designated hitters. He simply crushed balls to all parts of the field, and it is because of him why guys like David Ortiz are so valuable today.
3. Hall of Fame Stats
DH or no DH, Thomas pounded out stats and honors that are Hall of Fame-worthy. He is a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger and two-time MVP. During the 1990s, he put up video game numbers at the time and even had a video game named after him.
2. He Was Clean During A Dirty Time
In the last two years, the Hall of Fame voting has shown that players linked to any type of steroid questions will struggle to earn enough votes for enshrinement. Thomas has never been one of the those players linked to PEDs, and that is a testament to the player and the man. In two years, we will likely see another player that transcended the game during the 1990s get voted in when Ken Griffey Jr. appears on the ballot.
1. Even More Hall Of Fame Stats
Thomas is currently tied for 18th on the all-time home run list with 521 long balls. Cutting out alleged users, he would crack the top-15. He also tallied over 2,400 hits and 1,700 RBIs. It is fitting that he will be inducted alongside Glavine and Maddux, because all three guys proved that "chicks dig the long ball."