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Big Hurt set to call it a career

Feb 11, 2010, 8:35 PM EST

Frank Thomas, who last played with the Blue Jays and Athletics in 2008, will announce his retirement on Friday, sources told MLB.com.
The 41-year-old Thomas finishes his career with 521 home runs.
Also a tight end in college, Thomas was the seventh overall pick in the 1989 MLB draft out of Auburn. In 16 years with the White Sox, he went to five All-Star Games, won two MVP awards and led the AL in OPS four times. Unfortunately, injuries hampered him more and more towards the end of his stay and he left on poor terms with the team after playing in just 34 games in 2005.
In 2006, at age 38, he had a bounce-back season with Oakland, hitting .270 with 39 homers and 114 RBI to finish fourth in the MVP voting. He was productive again with the Blue Jays in 2007, but he got off to a poor start in 2008 and Toronto released him for financial purposes. He returned to Oakland for what ended up being the last stop of his career and hit .263/.354/.387 in 55 games.
Thomas is a clear Hall of Famer on performance, even if he contributed little with the glove. He finishes his career with a .301 average, a .419 OBP and a .555 slugging percentage. His 974 OPS ranks 15th all-time, and he’s 18th on the homer list. Unfortunately, he didn’t have all that much of a chance to add to his record in the postseason. He excelled in two of his four series, but he ended on a very poor note, going 0-for-13 in the 2006 ALCS as the A’s lost to the Tigers. He was a career .224/.441/.429 hitter with three homers and five RBI in 49 postseason at-bats.

  1. yep - Feb 11, 2010 at 9:11 PM

    True professional…in an era of steroids and performance enhancement, Frank Thomas was an outspoken advocate of the “clean athlete”. He truly deserves the Hall and Chicago fans, both Sox and Cubs, can be happy that he will go in. Congrats on a great career.

  2. Mark C - Feb 11, 2010 at 9:15 PM

    The baseball Hall Of Fame needs to stop discriminating aginst DH players. Frank Thomas’ 521 HR’s and 1704 RBI’s are Hall Of Fame worthy numbers by far. And so are Harold Baines’ 1628 RBI’s. And his 384 HR’s aren’t anything to sneeze at either. They both belong in the Hall Of Fame.

  3. Eric Solomon - Feb 11, 2010 at 9:17 PM

    And talk about “feared”…

  4. ChrisKol - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:07 PM

    He was pretty ok with the bat, but he’s NO first ballot hall of famer!
    ….*cough*….

  5. soxrocker23 - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:38 PM

    Apparently there’s no such thing as a first-ballot HOFer these days…if Alomar isn’t. I say as soon as Alomar is in, Big Hurt is right behind him (assuming no steroid allegations come into play). Papi was also an “outspoken advocate.” That didn’t go so well…I always figured IRod in his prime was likely the greatest all-around catcher in history….a Johnny Bench with speed, who was literally FEARED defensively, altering the outcomes of games on a daily basis…but now even he might not be worthy of first-ballot consideration.

  6. Andrew - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:42 PM

    He will be missed. Although like Glavine it’s been obvious for a while we won’t see him again this makes it final. One of the last guys around from when I started following baseball (1991).

  7. frank pepe - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:43 PM

    his first 8 or 9 years, when he was just a 1b, what a start to a career. one of the best RHH ever. he’ll be missed

  8. nate - Feb 11, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    The big hurt will be missed. Classy player through and through.

  9. wizard of Ozola - Feb 12, 2010 at 2:28 AM

    the guy had some monster years then went off the deep end on music biz and pissed off GM and got a free pass out of town. HE WAS ONE OF THE FEW GUYS THAT DIDN’T NEED ROIDS TO BULK UP. SOME WOULD SAY HE HAD THE POTENTIAL TO HIT 350, 55-60 HOME RUNS AND 160+ RBI IN ONE SEASON, BABE RUTH NUMBERS. BUT HE HAD SUCH A GREAT EYE FOR STRIKES AND BALLS AND GREAT STRIKE ZONE DISCIPLINE, SO HE WOULD RATHER TAKE A WALK, THEN SWING FOR THE FENCES.HIT A LOT OF HOMERS WITH ONE ARM SWINGS, HAVING A SUPER QUICK RELEASE ON THE TOP HAND.

  10. Cheeze - Feb 12, 2010 at 3:48 AM

    saw him play one game. saw him hit #400.

  11. Charles Gates - Feb 12, 2010 at 7:56 AM

    With a nick name that advocates violence to our children, he shouldn’t be eligible for the HOF.

  12. yep - Feb 12, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    wow….because he did give himself that nickname?!?! If you can not explain to your child that his nickname is just that…you should not be eligible for our society. God luck with life

  13. DB - Feb 12, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    “With a nick name that advocates violence to our children, he shouldn’t be eligible for the HOF.”
    This is hands down one of the dumbest things I’ve ever read on the intertubes. You, sir, are an alpha class ignoramus. Never lay your hands on a keyboard again.

  14. Tolley Jenkins - Feb 12, 2010 at 8:50 AM

    yep:
    I’d bet money Charles Gates was being sarcastic. C’mon now.

  15. cubfan48 - Feb 12, 2010 at 8:58 AM

    If Mr. Gates thinks that a nick name is detrimental to our children then I must presume he is not watching TV – or allowing his children to watch those violent cartoons. Here’s an idea…TALK TO YOUR CHILDREN. Don’t be so negative about everything – learn how to explain things (not compromise – explain). People who make such inane remarks make me tired. I am a Christian and concerned about the children of this world – but I prefer to do it in a positive way and not a negative way. As for Frank Thomas – don’t know if he will make it to the HOF or not but nice that someone stood up for what was right and gave a FINE example to our children. Amen!

  16. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Feb 12, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    to cubfan48/DB/yep:
    his comment
    ———–
    your head(s)

    As for Frank Thomas – don’t know if he will make it to the HOF or not but nice that someone stood up for what was right and gave a FINE example to our children.

    If the Big Hurt doesn’t make it to the HoF, they might as well stop voting on players. 15th All Time in OPS+, lifetime triple slash of .301/.415/.555…

  17. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Feb 12, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    doh, meant 15th in OPS, he’s 19th All Time in OPS+

  18. Rick - Feb 12, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    He can’t retire. He and Sheffield have to sign a one year contract with the Nationals first.

  19. Paul in KY - Feb 12, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    I’m assuming he doesn’t have 3,000 hits. I think he’s a HOFer, since you could look at his body & see he wasn’t juicing.

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