Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Frank Thomas (AL baseball player)
Frank Edward Thomas (born May 27, 1968 in Columbus, Georgia) is an American Major League Baseball player nicknamed "The Big Hurt". (Interestingly, Thomas was born the exact same day as contemporary Jeff Bagwell.) Frank Thomas became one of baseball's biggest stars in the 1990s, playing solely for the Chicago White Sox. He was given the nickname "The Big Hurt" by broadcaster Ken Harrelson . Thomas is one of several notable baseball players who played college baseball at Auburn University.
He is notable not for his below-average defense at first base, but for being one of the best pure hitters in baseball's history. He has been compared to being as close to a right-handed version of Ted Williams as there is. A slugger who hits 35-40 home runs per year as a matter of course, hits .330 or better most years, and quite importantly, draws well over 100 walks each season, Thomas has proven himself to be one of the top five right-handed hitters ever; and the second best hitter since 1990, behind only Barry Bonds. His career on base percentage is among the top ten of all ballplayers in history.
Unfortunately, Thomas has been much maligned by the media, especially in Chicago. Much of this came about after a disastrous 2002 season, in which he performed so poorly that the White Sox invoked a "diminished skills" clause in his contract. He resurrected his career in 2003; although he hit a subpar .267, he was tied for second in the American League in home runs (42) and was in the league's top ten in walks, extra-base hits, slugging percentage, and OPS.
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