Frank Thomas, whose blend of skills as a slugger and selective, high on-base percentage hitter helped make him the greatest White Sox hitter of all time and one of baseball’s best right-handed batters ever, has been elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.
Thomas surpassed the 75 percent needed from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in balloting announced Wednesday. The Class of 2014 will be enshrined July 27 in Cooperstown, N.Y.
A patient hitter whose career .419 on-base percentage (20th all-time) was aided by 1,667 walks and a .301 batting average, Thomas was also one of the great sluggers of baseball’s modern era. A two-time American League Most Valuable Player (1993, ‘94) who arguably deserved a third MVP award when he finished second to admitted performance enhancing drug user Jason Giambi in 2000, Thomas played 16 of his 19 seasons on the South Side, producing a .555 slugging percentage, belting 521 home runs (18th all-time) and 495 doubles, and driving in 1,494 runs (22nd all-time) and finishing with 2,468 hits. The designated hitter and first baseman made five All-Star teams and finished in the top five in MVP voting nine times.
Thomas’ dominant eight-season tear from 1990-97 was remarkable. During that stretch, “The Big Hurt” batted .330 with a .452 on-base percentage and .600 slugging percentage and averaged 39 homers and 38 doubles per 162 games played.
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