CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago White Sox unveiled a statue in the outfield concourse Sunday to honor former slugger Frank Thomas.
Thomas, who is the White Sox career leader in nearly every offensive category, played 16 seasons for Chicago before wrapping up his career with Oakland and Toronto. He was a two-time MVP with the White Sox.
He was a career .301 hitter with 521 home runs, 1,704 RBIs and 1,494 runs scored over his 19 seasons. He broke in with the White Sox in 1990 and had an injury-shortened final season with them in 2005 when they won the World Series.
His No. 35 was retired in August of last year. He joins Charles Comiskey, Minnie Minoso, Carlton Fisk, Luis Aparicio, Nellie Fox, Billy Pierce and Harold Baines with statutes at U.S. Cellular Field.
Thomas hit 448 of his homers for the White Sox.
At 6-foot-5, 260 pounds, Thomas was known for his batting eye. He drew 1,397 career walks.
“For a big guy, most guys are free swingers, but he just had a great eye,” said White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, a former teammate. “That was probably the one thing over his whole career you could say — he just always was dialed in on what he was looking for. He never expanded out of that too much. To me, that was always the thing that stuck out as far as when he was up there hitting.
“He wasn’t just a big guy that was strong. That was the last piece of the puzzle. He was a really good hitter mechanically, approach-wise, all that stuff. And on top of that, he happened to be a big, strong guy.”
Thomas came up as a first baseman before becoming a DH. Of his 2,322 career games, he started 969 at first.
He said the statue showing him swinging a bat was well-done.
“Love it. They even got my nose right. I’ve been getting (kidded) about my nose for so many years and (manager and former teammate) Ozzie (Guillen) was riding me the other day: `They used a lot of clay on that nose,”‘ Thomas said. “It’s a good thing. It looks very, very realistic. I’m proud of it. Like I told you guys earlier, most guys are dead and gone before they get to see something like this. I’m honored and very, very proud.”
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