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The White Sox are going to make Frank Thomas a team ambassador

Jul 27, 2010, 2:06 PM EDT

Back in February the White Sox and Frank Thomas began a nice reproachment when it was announced that the team would be retiring his number. That’s going to happen on August 29th.

Today they’ve added that Thomas will officially become a team “ambassador” which, while mostly a PR position, represents a nice coming together of baseball’s most inexplicably underrated hitter of all time and the club where he spent most of his productive years.

I like this, not because I care that much about the White Sox or Frank Thomas’ career path, but because I’m really worried — as was Aaron back in February — that the writers are going to unfairly discount Frank Thomas’ massive accomplishments as a hitter when he comes up for a Hall of Fame vote in a few years.  They’ll dismiss him because he was a DH. They may also dismiss him because they decided at some point that he was surly and difficult, though they’ll probably not say that out loud.

The way I see it, the more closely he works with the White Sox, the less likely it will be that people will think “bad attitude” when they think of Frank Thomas, and that can only be a good thing for his Hall of Fame case.

  1. The Rabbit - Jul 27, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Frank Thomas deserves to be in the HOF and was never underrated in my household.
    True story: When my son was in college, he was teaching his then-girlfriend the fundamentals of baseball. When I met her, I asked what she had learned. She replied, “Frank Thomas is the hitting god; Nolan Ryan is the pitching god; Never bet on the Royals.”

  2. Preston - Jul 27, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    On the other hand, he’ll probably get a substantial boost from being an outspoken opponent of steroids.

  3. Chris Fiorentino - Jul 27, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    Frank Thomas will not only get into the Hall of Fame, but he will do so quite easily. In an era where Steroids where prevalent, and the high and mighty voters are keeping out the same guys they waxed poetic about in 1998 when they were “resurrecting the sport of baseball”, Frank Thomas never took them. Nor was he ever implicated in taking them. And he had seasons not just great, but historical. He batted a career .301, hit over 500 Home Runs, and had a career OPS+ in the top 20 all-time at 156. He is a sure-fire HoFer and if he isn’t nominated on the first ballot, it would be a disgrace.

  4. Reflex - Jul 27, 2010 at 2:53 PM

    Its not just that he never took them, its that he was actively advocating for a testing program in the mid-90’s when everyone else told him he was nuts for thinking it was a big deal. I don’t see anyone in the press apologizing to him for the harsh treatment he recieved, nor Bud Selig holding him up as the example he should be held up as.
    I love Griffey, but one thing I dislike is that some of the Bonds testimony indicated that he told Griffey he was going to do the drugs and Griffey said nothing. Its not that Griffey necessarily should have done anything, but something tells me Bonds would *never* have had that conversation with Frank. Frank always believed in doing what was right, regardless of personal loyalties, and someone with sound morals and a sense of moral obligation is not someone you confess something illegal to unless you want to get caught.

  5. SosasCork - Jul 27, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    They’ve borrowed this idea from the Chicago Blackhawks, who use the ambassadors to promote the team in the community: http://blackhawks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?bcid=30021
    The other White Sox ambassadors are Carlton Fisk, Ron Kittle, Bill Melton, Minnie Minoso, and Bill ”Moose” Skowron. No sign of Chet Lemon or Jeff Torborg.

  6. bigtrav425 - Jul 27, 2010 at 6:51 PM

    i always thought he was overrated (pretty good hitter but still overrated)he only had a few good yrs really…if he gets in then my boy Albert Belle needs to def get in!

  7. Reflex - Jul 27, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Are you kidding me or just trolling? Frank won two consecutive MVP awards and was in the top 8 in voting 9 times. He played for 19 seasons, and was not even a bad 1B when he played it. His career BA is .301 and his OBP is .419, and he tallied 521HR’s without any suggestions he used anything illegal to accomplish it. Offensively only Griffey was his equal in the AL during the 90’s.
    By comparison, Albert Belle played only 13 seasons, and while he was good, he also was generally a problem to deal with and simply did not accumulate the totals that Thomas did. Give him another five years and a case could be made(assuming he was clean), but as it stands I just don’t see it. And I definitely do not see him as comparable to Thomas, either in terms of ability or character.

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