Frank Thomas believes he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org January 26, 2013 7:30PM
9-24-2000--Frank Thomas gets a dousing in the clubhouse after the Sox clinch. Photo by Tom Cruze
Frank Thomas is a five-time All-Star and a career .301 hitter with 521 home runs. He finished in the top three in AL MVP voting five times, and he won the award twice. A closer look, including Thomas’ homers, RBI and batting average:
1. Cal Ripken, Orioles
2. Cecil Fielder, Tigers
3. Thomas (32, 109, .318)
1. Thomas (41, 128, .332)
2. Paul Molitor, Blue Jays
3. John Olerud, Blue Jays
1. Thomas (38, 101, .353)
2. Ken Griffey, Mariners
3. Albert Belle, Indians
1. Ken Griffey, Mariners
2. Tino Martinez, Yankees
3. Thomas (35, 125, .347)
1. Jason Giambi, Athletics
2. Thomas (43, 143, .328)
3. Alex Rodriguez, Mariners
Updated: February 28, 2013 7:09AM
Frank Thomas’ numbers warrant a first-ballot Hall of Fame induction. Everybody knows it, including Thomas.
“The 12-year run I had was incredible, very historical,’’ Thomas said after a fan seminar Saturday at SoxFest. “I think I’ve done enough to be a first ballot.’’
That said, such an honor would be humbling.
“Get to the Hall of Fame, you only dream of that,’’ said Thomas, who will be eligible next year. “I would be speechless.’’
Thomas had a lot to say about baseball’s performance-enhancing-drug problem, which prevented Barry Bonds and others from receiving enough votes to make the Hall this year.
“I wouldn’t say I feel bad for them,’’ Thomas said. “I respected them on the field, but they chose this. They made their own decisions on the field, and they have to live with it.
“These guys put up some incredible numbers, but they’re fake. You look at the PED situation and [cyclist] Lance Armstrong, and it’s serious out there. I’m thankful I did it the right way and had a good family base that made me outwork everybody else because that’s the only way I made it to the big leagues.’’
Thomas hit .301 for his career with 521 home runs and 1,704 RBI. The greatest hitter in Sox history, he was the American League MVP in 1993 and 1994. Thomas finished second in MVP voting in 2000 to Jason Giambi, which Thomas called “losing an MVP to a guy who admitted using PEDs.’’
“Watching all the nonsense unfold and not really knowing what was going on, it makes me feel much more proud of my career,’’ Thomas said. “I competed in that era and played at a high level. There were a lot of great players, and as it unfolds, a lot of it was not the real deal. I know 100 percent of mine was the real deal.’’