Frank Thomas To Retire

Frank Thomas, one of the most feared hitters of the past two decades, is calling it a career, MLB.com's Scott Merkin and Doug Miller report. Thomas is scheduled to have a Friday press conference in Chicago, where he had his greatest years, to announce the move.

Thomas has impressive career stats by any measure. He is 18th on the career list in home runs with 521, and his rate stats are even better: a career .301/.419/.555 batting line.

Thomas did not play in 2009, and had a .240/.349/.374 line in a 2008 season split between Oakland and Toronto.

With 1,311 games at designated hitter, and just 971 at first base, the debate will begin as to whether a primary DH belongs in the Hall of Fame. From this view, it will be hard to keep a hitter as dominant as Thomas out of the Hall.


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122 Comments on "Frank Thomas To Retire"


Bravoboy10
5 years 6 months ago

He’ll be first ballot in my opinion, Edgar Martinez as well

5 years 6 months ago

No doubt. First ballot. No questions asked. Look at that line! That has to be one of the most impressive CAREER lines in recent history. Maybe Bonds, Pujols, and Ramirez have comparable career lines, but that is really impressive! The Big Hurt was a top 5 most dominant hitter of the 90’s. No way this guy misses first ballot. Should be unanimous, but there will be one idiot who votes against him, like the guy who didn’t have Jeter on his ballot for MVP (which cost him the win) at all in 2006. Come on now, I’m a Red Sox fan and I can see that clear as day, I don’t know how someone couldn’t. But you know Big Hurt will face the same idiots.

Was Frank on the steroids list? I would skew my decision somewhat by that factor.

bk81
5 years 6 months ago

According to the Chicago Tribune, Frank was the only player willing to testify for the Mitchell Report and has advocated drug testing since 1995.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/ct-spt-0212-haugh-frank-thomas-white-sox-20100211,0,2961269.column

5 years 6 months ago

Thanks :) then Big Hurt first ballot

RiverKKiller999
5 years 6 months ago

What a great career he had.He’ll be a HOF no doubt.He was a beast!

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

First Ballot no doubt about it. Just one of the best players of all time and I’m happy to believe that the next time we see him will be with a plaque in his hand in cooperstown. Congratulations Frank Thomas on a great career.

The game of Baseball will miss you Frank! You were one of the players who did it the right way.

Thank you for everything Frank Thomas! See you in cooperstown! You did a great job!

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 6 months ago

He’ll be in the hall… maybe not first ballot but relatively quickly..

5 years 6 months ago

A first ballot hall of famer and a great tipper!

soxluv
5 years 6 months ago

The end of a great career. By far the best hitter to ever play in Chicago.

InTheKZone
5 years 6 months ago

What about Ernie Banks?

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

Pretty much across the board Thomas had better numbers.

InTheKZone
5 years 6 months ago

I’m not saying he didn’t have better numbers. He may be the best hitter but not by far. No offense to soxlove.

However, I always liked Thomas and he very well should be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

markjsunz
5 years 6 months ago

Of course Mr. Banks did not have the benifit of steroids. Another Sham from the steroid era.

cderry
5 years 6 months ago

Thomas’ name has never come up in steroid talks and Jose Canseco knew Frank and never once named him. He’s the only man of that size that I feel was always that big. He played Tight End at Auburn for god sakes.

studio179
5 years 6 months ago

This is coming from a Cub fan. Thomas was a great hitter from any era, he just raked. The funniest reference about steroids I have ever heard from any baseball player, came from Thomas. After his Sox days, he had a radio interview and steroids came up. He was asked if people questioned him much on steroids since he put up big numbers in the PED era. He laughed and said he’s sure there is someone who will question his numbers. Then he said, “have you seen my sisters? We come from a big family”.

BrocNessMonster
5 years 6 months ago

You joking? I can’t tell, but that better be a joke. The guy was six and a half feet tall and 240 pounds when he got in the league as a kid… He was a football player. Just a big kid. You can see with the other guys, all of the sudden huge HR spikes. Thomas was a beast from the get-go. Look it up. Even on the “reports” from the “officials” that threw around accusations towards everyone and anyone, he wasn’t listed.
Pretty easy to go throwing out garbage like that about someone when you don’t have to look at them in the face or support your claims…
Asshole

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

Ernie Banks may have been the better overall player, but Frank Thomas’ hitting stats really were incredible, even for his era.

soxluv
5 years 6 months ago

Banks was a great player, not near the hitter Frank was.

rockiesfan_303
5 years 6 months ago

First ballot deserving no question. Same with Thome.

fisk72
fisk72
5 years 6 months ago

Thank you Frank. Looking forward to #35 on the wall at 35th & Shields.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

well said.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Wish you best Frank. Thanks for the memories!

As far as trying to keep DH out of the HOF – sometimes its unfair. Like Frank would have been a 1B if not forced to DH by the Sox after the addition of Konerko. How do you stick by a “but you were a DH” stance when its almost exclusively because of the team they played for?

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

The thing is Suzysman (you are right by the way), Thomas had a much better career than Edgar Martinez. His numbers are HOF deserving where as Edgar’s are borderline.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Edgar Martinez is not borderline – his only hangup is he played DH

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah but now that Thomas retired and his numbers are much better than E-Mart’s, I can’t see Martinez getting in.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

Much better?

Edgar Martinez posted a career line of 312/418/515. During his offensive peak years (95 – 01) his stat line was 329/446/574. That’s an average OPS of over 1025 for 7 years.

Thomas posted a career line of 301/419/555. During his offensive peak years (91 – 97) his stat line was 330/452/604. That’s an average OPS of over 1050 for 7 years.

They are remarkably similar. Throw in ballpark allowances, players surrounding them, etc and I think you are looking at nearly identical players. Thomas gets the slight nod offensively, while Martinez gets bonus points for playing 3B until his age 30 season.

If one goes the other absolutely should go as well.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Thanks for doing that. I didnt want to get into it with him, lol!

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

I think its more of a matter of how can you keep a DH out of the Hall when they’re one of the best hitters of any generation.

billmelton
5 years 6 months ago

If I were clean and saw guys like Sosa, Bonds and McGwire juice it up and get millions in endorsements, I’d be a little ticked off too. Glad that I got the opportunity to see him play in the early 90’s and I’m glad he got a WS ring.

Guys like Thomas and Ken Griffey Jr. played clean during a time when it would be way too easy to go to the dark side like McGwire and Sosa. Thomas’ testimony before Congress on steroids was unforgettable and should be watched before any writer decides to vote for McGwire, Sosa and Bonds for the HOF.

thebigdog
5 years 6 months ago

Frank Thomas = one of the worst clutch hitters and fielders ever

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

.282/.435/.553/.988 with RISP
.254/.433/.501/.933 with RISP and 2 outs
.283/.418/.554/.972 with men on
.367/.452/.655/1.106 with runner on 3 less then 2 outs
.262/.436/.474/.910 with runner on 3 and 2 outs
.253/.386/.488/.875 late and close
.279/.400/.542/.942 high leverage
.237/.404/.504/.908 in extra innings

Yeah, boy did he ever suck in the clutch :/

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

He was anything but non-clutch.

“.367/.452/.655/1.106 with runner on 3 less then 2 outs”

If I was a pitcher I would have just surrendered at that point.

thebigdog
5 years 6 months ago

Yes, and he was a career .301 hitter … check out the other BAs on the list. He also had an annoying habit of drawing walks on pitches 2″ outside in situations where the team needed a hit. His late inning walds often hurt the team more than helped.

No offense intended … just the facts.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Ignore the numbers above, they are someone else. New numbers in later reply (Sorry bout that)

Oh, but just because its hysterical and really puts your opinion in question – you rate value based off BA?

thebigdog
5 years 6 months ago

.253/.386/.488/.875 late and close
.237/.404/.504/.908 in extra innings

The man may have been the greatest first inning hitter I’ve ever seen, but when the game was on the line late, he had trouble even getting the bat off of his shoulder. I don’t know if it exists, but if it does, compare his first at bat production to his last at bat in a game… you’ll see what I mean.

Harold Baines = clutch
Frank Thomas = not so much

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Oops!!!

You know what, I seem to have given the wrong lines there. Had multiple pages open, must have grabbed the wrong player (thinking those above are possibly Edgar Martinez)

Anyway, to give the correct lines:

.312/.447/.569/1.016 – RISP
.311/.438/.566/1.004 – Men on
.293/.401/.545/.946 – none on

.390/.446/.696/1.142 – On 3rd, less then 2
.298/.464/.599/1.063 – On 3rd, 2 outs
.291/.453/.565/1.017 – 2 outs, RISP

.333/.536/.528/1.064 – extra innings
and to provide the answer to your question
.291/.411/.556/.967 – first inning

So the Thomas numbers went from great to wow.

thebigdog
5 years 6 months ago

“and to provide the answer to your question
.291/.411/.556/.967 – first inning”

Two quick points:
1- Thank you for providing the info
and
2- That really didn’t address my point.

I was a huge Frank Thomas fan when he came up and for the first couple of years. I just became disgusted with the fact that he rarely took the bat off of his shoulder in the 8th or 9th inning of a game in which the Sox were down by a run or two.

I was actually asking about production … not stats. I would like to know Big Frank’s RBIs per at bat for his first at bat in games vs his last at bat in games. While I’m confident that he was far more productive in his first AB, this doesn’t even take the real “clutch” factor into account because there are so few real clutch situations over the course of a season.

I’ve always put a lot of weight on those situations and that is why guys like Clemente, Yaz, Brett, Perez, Garvey, Baines, Yount, Molitor, Puckett etc… were always my favorite players. Frank Thomas not only didn’t compare to these players, but as a lifelong Sox fan, I could name 3 or 4 guys I’d rather have seen up with the game on the line, especially Ventura.

0vercast
5 years 6 months ago

This guy killed the Twins for years in the clutch. One of the most dangerous hitters I’ve seen.

5 years 6 months ago

Frank Thomas reached base 748 more times than Andre Dawson in 695 fewer plate appearances.

If he doesn’t get in on the first ballot, then we’ve reached the point of idiocy that no society ever recovers from.

BaseballFan0707
5 years 6 months ago

Especially since Dawson doesn’t deserve to be in over the likes of those that were close to him in the voting this year to begin with.

start_wearing_purple
start_wearing_purple
5 years 6 months ago

We hit that when Bowie Kuhn was elected into the hall when he’s widely considered to be one of the worst commissioners of all time.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Mike,

Tim, You, Harold, Ben, and Zach should be voters.

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

That’d be awesome. Dave Cameron and the guys at FanGraphs too, that is it.

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

And you and I, Ryan. Also Suzysman, MorneauVP, and Infield Fly!

Hellobrooklyn
5 years 6 months ago

MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANYTHING, FRANK THOMAS DID THIS CLEAN!!!!!!!!!

Guest
5 years 6 months ago

Absolutley. Thank you!

dodgers1111
5 years 6 months ago

How do you know he was clean? Did you test him.

BK
5 years 6 months ago

Frank Thomas was probably the most outspoken player AGAINST steroids in the mid 90’s before it became an issue.

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Yeah, he and Juan Gone were always really quick to speak against them…

Oh wait :(

That said, my heart holds hope for Hurt

billmelton
5 years 6 months ago

Frank Thomas was the most outspoken player against PEDs. Check out his testimony before Congress in 2001. Especially against the mealy mouthed Sosa and McGwire. Toward the end of his career, Frank was hurt a lot and, unlike McGwire, refused to juice up.

That’s the really sad part of this. The acts of Sosa and his ilk have put this shadow over every player, clean or no.

bjsguess
5 years 6 months ago

Why does he get the presumption of innocence while others are just assumed to have used Roids. I don’t care what he says. Do we really need to go down the list of players who were outspoken critics of steroids only to find out they were users?

I’m not a fan of assuming everyone juiced up. I’m also not a fan of assuming that “player x” was clean just because he said he was. At best we can say that Thomas appears to have been clean.

BK
5 years 6 months ago

Because in 1994 he and Tony Gwynn were the only people who publicly lobbied to test for steroids and at that time Alan Selig told them to sit on it and spin!

dodgers1111
5 years 6 months ago

He probably juiced to.

nextyankeedynasty
5 years 6 months ago

2014 is going to be one heck of a Hall of Fame Class…..Thats Maddox, Glavine and Frank Thomas just of the top of my head……

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

Neifi Perez!!!!!

R_y_a_n
5 years 6 months ago

Dusty would vote him in, first ballot!

Suzysman
5 years 6 months ago

1 vote, thats all I ask.

Maybe Joe Morgan will do us the favor.

redsandyanksfan
5 years 6 months ago

to bad big unit couldnt retire with his 300th win last year that would be a hell of class with maddox glavine thomas and the unit wow

BK
5 years 6 months ago

I rarely post on these walls, but growing up to be a baseball addict I have to credit Frank Thomas with being a big part of it. The contradiction of a 6″5 250 hitter being a high average guy was amazing. Plus he was always smiling (in his prime) and was very good to fans. If he doesn’t get into the hall on first ballot it is a travesty.

The argument that he was a primary DH is not a great one. The majority of his quality stats came as a 1b. His career avg would have been closer to .315 had he retired after his first year with the Blue Jays, but instead he served as a DH into the years where his body was less solid. Even then he had hall of fame numbers.

A big thanks to The Big Hurt, for all he did to make me the baseball fan I am.

coolstorybro222
5 years 6 months ago

He is one of my favorite players of all time, and one of the best first basemen of all time. If Thome and him are in the hall of fame, I will die happy.

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 6 months ago

Anyone who can left that ginormous rebar and swing it around should be in the HOF.

Reason Frank will be first ballot: His career line of .301/.419/.555 is one of the best you’ll find within the last 25 years. 521 home runs is no cake walk either. He was also very clutch.

Reason Frank won’t be first ballot: Voters are known to have no boundaries to their douchebagging, a la Alomar.

vtadave
5 years 6 months ago

Time to load up on his 1990 Leaf rookie card.

drumbum2011
5 years 6 months ago

Back in the days when he was known to me as ‘Darth Thomas’ via Batgirl, he was one of the scariest batters of all time. I hope he gets to the Hall.