Monday, April 19, 2010

The Ex Files: Frank Thomas

When people think of Frank Thomas, they think White Sox. Frank is the all-time home run leader for the White Sox with 448. He also holds many other records for the Sox, including runs scored (1,327), doubles (447), RBI (1,465), extra-base hits (906), walks (1,466), total bases (3,949), slugging percentage (.568), and on-base percentage (.427).

You might think of Thomas as this generation's "Mr. White Sox". No offense Minnie. Minoso will always hold that nickname honor, but one could present a strong argument for Thomas.

The last few years of Frank Thomas' tenure on the South Side were steeped with injuries and fighting words. In fact, Frank was injured so much in 2005, that White Sox management decided to let him go after the season. All the good will found in a World Series championship fell by the wayside as fans endured back and forth bickering between Frank Thomas and Kenny Williams.

The Sox made a stand by trading popular center fielder Aaron Rowand and two then-minor league pitchers to Philadelphia for Jim Thome and cash. Thomas countered by eventually signing with the Oakland Athletics.

Frank responded by playing 135 games for the A's in 2006. He was forth in MVP voting that year, hitting 39 home runs and helping his new team to the postseason. Jim Thome was a slight upgrade for the Sox at DH, with 42 home runs and a slightly higher average, but the hole in centerfield was too much to overcome.

Brian Anderson and Rob Mackowiak platooned in center for the Sox. Anderson could field but couldn't hit. Mackowiak could hit for average, but wasn't the best option in center. The Sox finished with a respectable 90 wins, but it was good enough for third in the AL Central in 2006. Adding insult to injury, the wild card came from the central that year.

Frank moved on to Toronto in 2007, and hit his 500th career home run, before playing briefly with the Athletics again before retirement. After Frank took his last at-bats with Oakland in August 2008, the Sox returned to the postseason.

Currently, Frank Thomas can be seen on pre and post game shows for White Sox games on ComcastSportsNet, alongside former White Sox favorite Bill Melton. Back in the fold, Thomas' number 35 will be retired by the team on August 29, 2010, in an on-field ceremony, as part of "Frank Thomas Day".


capewood said...

Big Frank is always a guy I liked, as I've commented here before. I'm glad to see he's being welcomed back to Chicago. I'm glad he was able to make it to 500 HR as well, even if it wasn't in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

He just doesn't look right in anything but Sox gear, no offense to A's or Jays fans. Glad to know he's back where he belongs, in sweet home Chicago.

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