Frank Thomas (1990-2005) : The White Sox Greatest Hitters





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A college football teammate of Bo Jackson at Auburn, The Big Hurt sported a monster presence (6’5”, 240 pounds), and lived up to his reputation, running full speed out of the gate and arguably becoming the preeminent slugger of the 1990s by combining power and patience through a virtuoso collection of prodigious numbers.
In his second full season, Thomas won the American League MVP—and won it again the next year, with off-the-chart production cut short by the crippling player strike; had he kept pace and a work stoppage not intervened, Thomas would have finished the 1994 campaign with 54 home runs, 145 runs batted in, 152 runs scored and 156 walks to go with a career-best .353 average. His .729 slugging percentage and .487 on-base percentage that season were the highest such marks since Ted Williams’ 1957 campaign.
For seven consecutive years, Thomas would hit over .300 and accumulate at least 20 homers, 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 100 walks; no other player has done that more than four straight times. Thomas was defensively inferior and became the prototypical designated hitter, but he is far and away the franchise leader in most major offensive categories. Despite such luminous numbers produced during the steroid era, Thomas has not been accused in any way of taking performance enhancement—in part because his massive body frame suggested that he didn’t need to. Thomas was, in fact, the only player to volunteer his time and be interviewed for the Mitchell Report that investigated steroid use in baseball.

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