Tuesday, January 28, 2014

#150 Frank Thomas

About the Front: The Big Hurt with eye black and three black bats, smiling brightly in front of an impossibly blue sky. This was a great card to have in your grubby hands in 1993. I'm glad my posting schedule got drawn out long enough that I could slap the "Hall of Famer" tag on Frank Thomas, who was a first-ballot selection by the BBWAA earlier this month.

About the Back: How powerful was Frank? There were a dozen seasons in which he surpassed the 24 homers he hit in 1992.

Triple Play:

1. He won back-to-back MVP awards in 1993 and 1994, when he batted .332/.453/.658 (193 OPS+!) with 79 home runs and 229 RBI...and lost 50 or so games to the season-ending strike in the latter year.

2. Thomas had 33 multi-HR games, including a pair of three-homer games against Boston that came 11 years apart. Tim Wakefield started both games and allowed five of the six round-trippers, with Kyle Snyder surrendering the other.

3. Frank's short acting resume includes cameos in the Tom Selleck movie Mr. Baseball and on the sitcom Married with Children.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Ken Griffey, Jr. may have been the coolest player when I was younger, but Frank Thomas was the biggest badass. He was made to wear that black-and-white-and-gray White Sox uniform. I was thrilled when I got to wear his (and Mike Mussina's) number 35 in Little League. Not that I ever hit like Frank...

Bill James Said: "Frank was the first player since Ted Kluszewski in 1954 to hit 40 homers and also have twice as many walks as strikeouts." FYI, that's 41 HR, 112 BB, and 54 K for Thomas.

On This Day in 1993: January 28. Don't touch the Hot Stove unless you want to get burned! The Brewers sign free agent outfielder Tom Brunansky.