Frank Thomas joins elite group of first basemen in Hall of Fame
BY TONI GINNETTI Staff Reporter January 8, 2014 2:04PM
Updated: January 8, 2014 3:10PM
Frank Thomas already has a statue at U.S. Cellular Field immortalizing him with White Sox fans.
Now he has baseball’s ultimate immortality.
The player who has been the most prolific hitter in franchise history added another crowning achievement Wednesday in earning election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot.
Before this year, only 44 players were elected in their first year of eligibility. Thomas becomes only the third in that elite group (Eddie Murray and Willie McCovey) who played the majority of his career at first base, and he is the first first baseman to join the Hall since Murray in 2003.
He becomes the 27th Hall of Famer to have worn a Sox uniform for part or all of his career, and the first since Roberto Alomar’s election in 2011, though Alomar only played briefly with the Sox.
He will join another former Sox—ex-manager Tony La Russa—at the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown on July 27. La Russa and managers Bobby Cox and Joe Torre were named to the Hall last month by the Expansion Era Committee.
The man known as the Big Hurt played 19 seasons, 16 with the Sox. He left after the 2005 World Series season, not appearing in the series because of injury. But he played in three other post-seasons, hitting three homers, drawing 18 walks and driving in five runs in 16 games.
He played his final years with Toronto and Oakland, but his career was established with the Sox, winning back-to-back American League most valuable player awards in 1993-94 and finishing in the top 10 in MVP voting seven other times.
He hit 448 of his total 521 homers with the Sox and 1,465 of his 1,704 RBI with the Sox.
He posted a lifetime batting average of .301 and drew 1,667 walks—10th most in history.
Thomas won four Silver Slugger Awards as a first baseman (1991, 1993-94) and one as a designated hitter (2000).