(CBS) They’re in.
White Sox first baseman Frank Thomas and Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility, Major League Baseball announced Wednesday.
Thomas appeared on 83.7 percent of ballots, with Maddux appearing on 97.2 percent.
“This has been a stressful 48 hours. I am so excited that I’m in the Hall of Fame,” said Thomas. “This is something that I will have to sit back in the next three or four days and figure it out because you can only dream so big, as this is as big as it gets for me. I’m a Georgia kid. Going in with (Tom) Glavine, Maddux and Bobby Cox means a lot to me. The whole state of Georgia is going to be there and I am just so blessed that I’ll be able to be there with these guys.”
Thomas, 45, finished his 19-year career with a .301 average, 521 home runs (18th all time), 1,704 RBI (22nd all time), .419 on-base percentage (19th all time), .555 slugging percentage (22nd all time) and an OPS of .974 (14th all time), as well as the 10th most walks in history with 1,677.
“Congratulations to Frank Thomas on today’s first-ballot election to Baseball’s Hall of Fame,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, White Sox chairman. “Induction into Cooperstown is the game’s greatest honor, and to see Frank’s plaque placed alongside baseball’s other outstanding hitters brings his White Sox career full circle. Frank is the greatest offensive player in White Sox history, a line drive hitter and on-base machine in a slugger’s body.
“He now deservedly joins baseball royalty like Babe Ruth, Ted Williams and Hank Aaron, as well as Sox legends like Louie (Aparicio), Nellie (Fox) and Luke (Appling), in Cooperstown. To have had the opportunity to see his career begin in 1990 and then end in the Hall of Fame has been a special privilege for me and for many with the White Sox, including so many fans who witnessed his greatness firsthand. Frank should be very proud today, celebrating along with his family, friends, teammates and every Sox fan who had the chance to cheer for The Big Hurt.”
Maddux, 47, won four straight Cy Young Awards from 1992-95 during his 23-year career. He won 355 games (eighth all time), threw 5,008 innings (13th all time), record 3,371 strikeouts (10th all time) and finished his career with a 3.16 ERA.
Braves pitcher Tom Glavine was also elected.