suntimes
A-OK 
Weather Updates

Frank Thomas believes he’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer

9-24-2000--Frank Thomas gets dousing clubhouse after Sox clinch. Phoby Tom Cruze

9-24-2000--Frank Thomas gets a dousing in the clubhouse after the Sox clinch. Photo by Tom Cruze

storyidforme: 43652430
tmspicid: 16157585
fileheaderid: 7273095

Good Company

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:

1991

1. Cal Ripken, Orioles

2. Cecil Fielder, Tigers

3. Thomas (32, 109, .318)

1993

1. Thomas (41, 128, .332)

2. Paul Molitor, Blue Jays

3. John Olerud, Blue Jays

1994

1. Thomas (38, 101, .353)

2. Ken Griffey, Mariners

3. Albert Belle, Indians

1997

1. Ken Griffey, Mariners

2. Tino Martinez, Yankees

3. Thomas (35, 125, .347)

2000

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.’’



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.