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Frank Thomas (Frank Edward Thomas) was born on May 27, 1968 in Columbus, Georgia. He made his Major League debut on August 2, 1990 for the Chicago White Sox. In 1990, his rookie year, he hit .330 with 7 home runs and 31 RBI. Thomas played for the Chicago White Sox, Oakland Athletics, and Toronto Blue Jays over the course of his 18 year career.
The White Sox selected Thomas in the first round of the 1989 draft with the sevent pick over all. The 1B/DH out of Auburn University (where he also played tight end) was also the second college batter taken in the draft, after the Texas Rangers took Donald Harris (outfielder, Texas Tech University) with the fifth overall pick. Other notable picks from that year's first round include Mo Vaughn (23rd overall) and Chuck Knoblauch (25th).
Thomas signed a week after the draft and made his Major League debut just over a year later. He made a near immediate impact, raking seven home runs and putting up an atmospheric .454 OBP in 240 plate appearances as the season came to a close. His hold on a spot in the 1991 Chicago White Sox lineup was lock-solid, and he did not disappoint, putting up a .318/.453/.553 line and earning a first place vote in MVP voting. His 1.0006 OPS lead the league, as did his .453 OBP and 138 walks, earning him a Silver Slugger at DH.
A year later, Thomas again shone—leading the AL in doubles (42), OPS (.975), and OBP (.439). However, Thomas was not selected to the All-Star game, and received only passing attention in MVP voting. Both honors would come the next year.
The 1993 Chicago White Sox won their division for the first time in a decade, and Thomas played no small role. The unanimous AL MVP, Thomas slugged 41 home runs and drove in 128 runs and was finally named to the All-Star team. Ironically, Thomas did not lead the league in a single major statistical category. He was fourth in walks—a category he dominated from 1991 through 1995—but nevertheless was among the most feared hitters in the game. One needs no further proof of this than his line against the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1993 ALCS—17 at bats, 6 hits (one home run), and 10 walks.
- Selected by the Chicago White Sox in the 1st round (7th pick overall) of the free-agent draft on June 5, 1989- signed om June 11, 1989.
- Granted free agency on October 31, 2002.
- Signed by the Chicago White Sox on December 6, 2002.
- Granted free agency on November 8, 2005.
- Signed by the Oakland Athletics on January 31, 2006.
- Granted free agency October 15, on 2006.
- Signed by the Toronto Blue Jays on November 18, 2006.
- He was given the nickname "The Big Hurt" by broadcaster Ken Harrelson.
- Thomas appeared in the movie Mr. Baseball (as a hot-prospect rookie who forces Tom Selleck's character off the Yankees) and made a guest appearance (as himself) on the TV show Married With Children.
- In 1995, a Super NES baseball video game titled Frank Thomas' Big Hurt Baseball was released for home video game play, and Premier Technologies created a "Big Hurt" pinball machine, marketed under the Gottlieb trade name).
- In 2007, he appeared in a promotional advertisement for the Toronto Blue Jays, in which he engages in a pillow fight with children. This ad drew the criticism of the Television Bureau of Canada, who requested a "Dramatization. Do not try this at home." disclaimer be placed on the ad. A similar warning was placed on teammate A.J. Burnett's commercial. The Blue Jays, humorously, scheduled a "Frank Thomas Kid's Pillow" promotion for September 2, 2007.
- On June 28, 2007, Thomas became only the 21st player in Major League Baseball history to hit at least 500 home runs, after he hit a 1st inning home run at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.
- Coincidentally, Thomas hit his first home run of his career there back on August 28, 1990.
- Thomas is one of only six players to hit 500 career home runs and accrue at least 1600 walks. The others are Babe Ruth, Mel Ott, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, and Barry Bonds.
- Thomas was the first player in Major League history to win two silver slugger awards each at two different positions (1991 & 2000 at first base; 1993-94 as designated hitter).
- He is one of four players (Eddie Murray, Hank Aaron, and Rafael Palmeiro) to collect over 500 career home runs and over 115 career sacrifice flies. This carries significance as some home run hitters are often chastised for putting their quest to hit home runs over a willingness to sacrifice oneself and advance the team.
- Thomas was the only active baseball player to be interviewed during the preparation of the Mitchell Report. He did so voluntarily.
- Thomas is also (currently) the all-time record holder for home runs by a designated hitter (261).
- Thomas and teammate Magglio Ordonez tied a major league record for back-to-back homers, with six in one season.