Frank Thomas, “The Big Hurt,” is the greatest player to ever wear the uniform of the Chicago White Sox.
He was absolutely dominant for the first six years of his career, and even after that, he still had several MVP caliber seasons. While he won two MVP’s (1993-94), Thomas was still among the games best hitters in several seasons after he won his final MVP award.
Here is a statistical look at Thomas’ best season of ’94.
The ’94 season was shortened by the strike, and before that happened, Thomas was hitting .353 with 38 home runs and 101 RBIs.
We will never know if this would have been the year that the White Sox would have broken the curse “The Black Sox Scandal,” however Thomas was nothing but dominant that season.
When the strike hit, Thomas had played in 113 games. To put that into perspective, if he had played around 150 games he may have hit close to 50 home runs with 150 RBIs.
Those numbers are one of the main reasons he’s being inducted into the Hall of Fame this weekend.
After the turn of the century, Thomas began to have some injury problems. In ’01, ’04, and ’05 he played in less than a full season total.
After the White Sox ALDS appearance in 2000, Thomas never hit over .300 again in a single season.
He still did have two Thomas-like home run outputs though, with 42 in ’03 and 39 in ’06.
In ’06, Thomas was no longer with the White Sox and moved on to the Oakland Athletics. The ’08 would be his final season (in Oakland and Toronto), where he failed to even play 80 games.
Overall, regardless of the fact that he did struggle as his body began to wear down, Thomas is still one of the great hitters of his generation.
There are very few hitters in history that can match his numbers for the first six years, not to mention he is a member of the 500 home run club. Thomas ended his career with 521 home runs, with 448 coming with the White Sox. Thomas hit 44 home runs with the A’s and 29 with the Blue Jays, including No. 500.
Thomas finished with 2,468 hits in 19 years at the MLB level, and 1.704 RBIs. “The Big Hurt” played in a total of 1,959 games in his career.
According to Fangraphs.com, Thomas had a WAR of 7+ four times in his first eight seasons, not to mention he was a middle of the order bat for a decade.
Who knows how long it will be before the White Sox draft another hitter like Thomas (if ever), but it will be a long time until someone puts up numbers like his in a White Sox uniform.