Frank Thomas Makes His Way Into Cooperstown
The Hall of Fame voters shocked a couple people by voting in three people. It’s shocking because last year they voted a whopping ZERO. Eligible players must receive 75% of the vote to be elected and big Frank received 83.7%.
How many hitters finished with a lifetime average over 300 and over 500 homers? Only six have including Frank. He was a big guy with the batting eye of a leadoff hitter who was happy to take a walk and get on base. Frank is 18th all time on the home run list, and a two time MVP. It should be three times as he was in the lead before a roided up Jason Giambi stole the award from him in 2000 (I’m not bitter).
He is also the first player to get elected that played the majority of his games at DH; perhaps paving the way for David Ortiz election in about seven years. Never known much for his arm or defense, the Big Hurt was a treat to watch at the plate. When he was up it was must see TV.
It seems like it was an easy pick for the HOF, but there were a couple things working against Frank. He played in the steroid era, but was never suspected. Being in Chicago I can attest to the fact that Frank was a HUGE voice for testing players for PED’s. He wanted to be tested, he spoke out against PED’s and if you look at his career numbers they start to slide as they should as you get into your 30’s. Hitters aren’t supposed to suddenly get better at 34-38 years old.
Another thing that was going against Frank was his mouth. There are a lot of true things that happen in baseball that shouldn’t be said. One of them is that players “owe” the fans. We as fans like to think they owe us something but in reality they don’t. Players are used as pawns every day. So, they should play for themselves because the owners certainly play for themselves! Frank unfortunately uttered the quote, “I don’t owe the fans anything.” Which, while true, shouldn’t have been said.
That was a long time ago and thankfully didn’t hurt him enough that he had to start a sad campaign to get into the HOF like other players have (Ron Santo).
Cheers to the voters. They got it right with Frank “Big Hurt” Thomas and elected him in on the first ballot.