This off-season has seen the retirement of two incredible future Hall of Famers. Randy Johnson (check out my post here) was the first in January and now Frank ‘The Big Hurt’ Thomas has announced he will step away from the game for good. Frank’s nickname, the ‘The Big Hurt’ is representative of him in so many ways.
As we all know, Thomas was not a small guy. At 6’5″ and 275 lbs, Thomas was quite literally a large man who intimidated his opposition just by stepping into the batter’s box. His enormous frame spent 16 years in a Chicago White Sox uniform and because of that his jersey number will be retired by the club in the upcoming season.
Thomas always had his infamous huge smile across his face. His big personality made him an ambassador for the sport, and in the beginning of the steroid investigation, Thomas was the first, and only player to voluntarily meet with George Mitchell to speak about steroid use in the sport. Thomas wanted the sport cleaned up, because he was able to accomplish incredible heights without using performance enhancing drugs.
Thomas was known as ‘The Big Hurt’ because of his unbelievable power and average throughout his career. Thomas walks away as one of only 4 players to have at least a .300 batting average, 500 home runs, 1,500 RBI, 1,000 runs and 1,500 walks in a career (the others are Mel Ott, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams). He is a sure-fire first ballot Hall of Famer and has left a lasting legacy on the game of baseball.
Thank you Frank, for spending 18 years entertaining baseball fans around the world. Your presence and smile will certainly be missed.