Thursday, February 11, 2010

Saying Goodbye To The Big Hurt

It's about to go down tomorrow. We all knew this day was coming. I held out a sliver of hope that Frank Thomas would appear in a White Sox uniform one last time, during the September call-ups in 2009.

Frank Thomas will officially retire on Friday. His number 35 is expected to be retired, but we all know how important that ceremony actually is, right Omar Vizquel?

Frank Thomas made me believe in this team. After the dreadful teams of the late 80s, Frank and other new and young blood, made the White Sox respectable. I can't even count how many times I saw Frank's big grin adorning any number of products back in the early nineties. It was definitely more noticeable in Chicago, but I'd see his face while traveling too.

Frank gave me thrills that only a pure line drive hitter can give. He was deadly with a rope to any part of the field and sometimes, over 500 times in his career, those line drives would get elevation and fly majestically.

Frank made me a fan of the walk. He certainly drew enough of them. Some were intentional. Most were not. All of them, he earned. Frank was a rare creature, who would find any and all ways to beat you on the diamond. He just didn't get along with the press very well.

Don't Believe The Hype

If I'm not mistaken, that is the advice that was given to him by his family. He lived by that motto in the early days, even going as far as displaying it prominently at his locker. At times, it looked as though Frank had lost his way, but he always found his way back.

I'll never forget his magical seasons in the early to mid-nineties or his improbable run at a third MVP in 2000, which he should have won. Is it too late for a recount, Giambi? I will always feel bad that Frank won his only World Series ring by cheering on the sidelines. In a perfect world, he would have been the one leading the way. His earnest speech at the victory parade still makes me tear up a little. It was a speech well earned for sticking with the White Sox for so long. It meant the world to him and to the fans.

Goodbye, old friend. I will always cherish those special memories that you gave Chicago.

3 comments:

Sports Card Report said...

Great player, and a classy guy.

Hackenbush said...

Guys like Frank Thomas and Jim Thome are looking all the better relative to the you-know-who's in the 500 HR club.

The Wax Wombat said...

I remember the day I pulled my first rookie of his. It felt like gold in my hands. Always liked him, no matter the team.

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